RETRO-REVIEW: REMY MA, Big Pun protege’s DEBUT

Big Pun, Yeeeah Baby LP, track 14, “Ms. Martin“. Remy Ma‘s (formerly Remy Martin) official introduction to the music industry. Unfortunately, the album was posthumous, as Big Pun had passed nearly 2 months prior. Pun passed February 7, 2000, the same day Remy would release ‘There’s Something About Remy’ a full 6 year later. 5 years after her M.O.P assisted “Ante Up (Remix)” verse (also featuring Busta Rhymes) where she spits her now-infamous “Wish I could bring Pun back” line, we got the Remy debut album. Here we go:

Remy Ma – There’s Something About Remy

8.5

1. Pun’s Words

An acapella version of the intro to ‘Ms. Martin’, the perfect set off, and setup to the album.

OVERALL: 9

2. She’s Gone

A prime beat for the times, in the full out Kanye West Era, with DipSet still flourishing. This could have easily been a Jim Jones beat. These rhymes cut to the CORE, from the gate to the fence. Straight from the street corner. Homie on the hook doesn’t actually do any rapping or singing but his shit-poppin’ is damn near top notch. This is how your album should start.

BEAT: 8.5 RHYMES/DELIVERY:HOOK: 8 OVERALL: 8.5

3. Light’s, Camera, Action

It’s like an updated classic. She takes several elements and rhymes from previous era’s and floats over this subtle, but turnt 80s inspired instrumental by Scram Jones and Don Bishop Agallah. It’s hard to imagine it actually being played in the club, but on the ride to may be more appropriate.

BEAT: 8 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 8 HOOK: 7.5 OVERALL: 7.8

4. Tight

She mailed this one in. She says next to nothing. It’s not bad bad, but it’s a little directionless and there is a magazine scheme on the 2nd verse that doesn’t go over as well it could have. She also has issues with staying in a rhythm here, even more than usual. This beat should NOT sound this good 15 years later. Most beats from ’05-’07 with this style, even one’s produced Cool & Dre themselves, haven’t aged this well. The song overall is nowhere near as trash as it sounds on paper. It’s actually tight, no pun…no Pun pun, either. Smh.

BEAT: 8.5 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 6 HOOK: 7.5 OVERALL: 7.3

5. Whuteva

I’m noticing a pattern on this journey…There IS something about Remy. These ratings will never reflect how dope this album is, because most of Remy’s magic is in the intangibles. Her voice, believability and songwriting skills within the verses are almost otherworldly. She knows exactly when to take a rhyme from her favorite rapper, when to be more melodic without even sounding sing-songy, when to turn up and when to dial back, effortlessly. Not to mention, she just has the X-Factor. Oh yeah, “Whuteva” is a classic. I’ve been in the club when this came on. Pandemonium.

BEAT: 7.5 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 7 HOOK: 9.5 OVERALL: 8

6. Conceited Messages (Skit)

It does well to paint the picture of Remy as a female savage but runs a little long for what it is, and nobody on there has any voice acting skills, if that’s a thing. I’m guessing they did this mostly to break up the hit records on this album.

OVERALL: 6.5

7. Conceited

A man is writing this. Men and women feel TOTALLY different about ‘Conceited’. Fortunately, I’m objective and professional. This was a hit from the moment Scott Storch got the beat to Remy’s ears. Her voice over this particular track is where the song shines. Considering “Lean Back” was her true break through moment, also produced by Scott, it’s surprising they haven’t worked more. I’d take a full album of that chemistry.

BEAT: 7.5 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 8 HOOK: 8.5 OVERALL: 8

8. Feels So Good (featuring Ne-Yo)

Everyone knows the label fumbled the ball on this record. This could have been the biggest track from the LP. Still classic, to this day. Everytime you go back to this record, it’ll feel like it just came out. The tempo is also perfect for Ma. Whatever the bpm is, she should do it every song. Rhymes don’t have to be complex to be perfect.

BEAT: 8.5 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 9.5 HOOK: 10 OVERALL: 9.3

9. I’m

I rap as if I had a dick“. Yup. This is the definition of a GOOD filler track. Clearly filler, but enjoyable. Like if you went to do some mundane task, but when you arrive you it’s kinda live, and stay an extra hour an a half without even knowing it.

BEAT: 8 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 8 HOOK: 8 5 OVERALL: 8.3

10. Thug Love

This is as commercial as producer, Alchemist gets. Pun SINGS the hook. This could’ve also went, as a single. Who knew Remy had such appealing music to the masses? Me. The reviewer. Pun also comes through with a verse. I believe this was a Pun song, and the hook and verse had been used previously. I’m open to being wrong, however.

BEAT: 8.5 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 8.5 HOOK: 9 OVERALL: 8.7

11. Secret Location

If you wanna hear a rapper body a 16, here you are. Three times, at that. This is PRIME Remy Ma. Hard. Lyrical. Delivered to perfection. Not the greatest beat, but it’s hard, and it works for Remy, possibly more than any other on the album. I know what I said about the Ne-Yo beat. Relax.

BEAT: 7.5 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 9.5 HOOK: 9 OVERALL: 8.7

12. In-Da-Street (Skit)

Short and sweet. Painting that picture, once again, of Rem as the hardest female in the universe.

OVERALL: 9

13. Bilingual (featuring Ivy Queen)

Rapper’s just get to trying shit. Just give em a budget, and watch them try and reinvent the wheel. It’s like the prequel to Cardi B‘s “I Like It“, minus the dope beat flip and feature artist’s verse. Remy’s first rhyme on this is really reminiscent of Tha Gravediggaz.

BEAT: 7 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 7.5 HOOK: 7.5 OVERALL: 7.3

14. Conscience (Skit)

Prelude to the upcoming song. Honestly, the song isn’t the same without it. It adds context. It would have been hard to place the song without the skit. They probably could’ve placed it on the actual track, with the song. I don’t think it would have ruined the experience, plus it would have made the album seem more concise.

OVERALL: 8.5

15. Guilty

Hard to get why Remy would be driving this reckless with a gun and dirty money on her. Was she REALLY that annoyed at dude from the skit? She hits a small girl, and debates whether to stay or run, and chooses the latter. The out of the ordinary storytelling gives the story an air of mystery as to whether it is, in fact, real or not. What other reason would it be here? We don’t need to know that Remy Ma hit a child, possibly killed them, and ran off. Regardless, the beat is PERFECT for a tale. It’s like a scene from a early 2000’s action movie.

BEAT: 8.5 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 7.5 HOOK: N/A OVERALL: 8

16. Crazy

Remy speaks on her life, perspective and incorporates some of her favorite rhymes she’s done, while reiterating their doneness with “that’s crazy”. “I said I walk around the metal detectors, who does that?“. That is kinda crazy.

BEAT: 8 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 8.5 HOOK: 8 OVERALL: 8.2

17. What’s Going On (featuring Keyshia Cole)

A young Ma is faced with the very tough decision of having an abortion or not, while on the grind as a rapper, with little money. A similar position to Lauryn Hill on Zion“. She ultimately decides to take the life of her unborn, at 4 months pregnant. Did I mention this song features Keyshia Cole. Yeah. Ultra-sad. Keyshia bales “We’ll meet again, I know baby“. You may cry when the gravity of this song hits you.

BEAT: 7.5 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 7 HOOK: 7.5 OVERALL: 7.3

18. Still

Relationship issues, friend issues, family issues. The lover’s quarrels happen when you’re a female rapper with a jealous boyfriend. A brother who chose his relationship over his younger sister, Remy. A drug-addicted mother who let Ma be abused by her stepfather. Another DipSet reference (from me), Cam’ron would’ve done this track on any of his first three albums. The rhymes, beat and hook are all Killa-ish, when he gets into his personal/introspective bag.

BEAT: 8 RHYMES/DELIVERY: 7.5 HOOK: 7.5 OVERALL: 7.7

SUMMARYAs stated above, a stat sheet can’t contain or give a proper showing of how dope Remy Ma, or ‘There’s Something About Remy’ is. This is a B+ debut album. Undershipped and undervalued by the label, this album’s underwhelming performance caused the blowout between Remy and Fat Joe. They’d eventually “make-up” upon Rem’s release from prison for a shooting incident outside of a nightclub, and go on to make history with “All The Way Up“. The two remain close to this day, as Joe is one of Remy’s children Godfather. As for Ms. Martin, 15 years later, we are still waiting on her 2nd effort. There, we’ll see if there is still, or something new about Remy.

 

G-HOLY for G-HOLY.COM ©️, 2021.

 

Author: G-HOLY

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