Remy Ma Talks 14-Year Marriage, Importance Of Female Empowerment & More

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Rapper, mother, entrepreneur, wife, and reality star Remy Ma is preparing to launch Chrome 23 — an initiative to empower female battle rappers within the male-dominated hip hop industry. In an exclusive interview with iHeartRadio personality Jazmyn Summers, the New York-born MC discussed all things Chrome 23, her marriage, and her challenging upbringing.

Keep scrolling to read our full interview.

Tell me about Chrome 23.

It's an all-female rap battle league that gives [artists] not just a [space] to shine, but [also] an opportunity to flourish. I feel like a lot of them have been doing this for years, but they've never really got compensated for their work like the males. What prompted me to actually get into this is when I found out that the women were making $1,500, $2,500 per performance and the men were making $50,000, $60,000. Yeah. It was that much of a pay gap. As a woman of color, I know how we always gotta work a little bit harder. We always gotta do a little bit more to even feel like we're getting equal treatment. But that to me was just such a drastic gap that I felt like somebody needed to do something. And then to know rap and to be really into hip hop and see how talented they are and know that that's what was going on, I just felt like they needed somebody who could be a voice for them. Somebody who already has an audience, somebody that could reach out to the people and could just connect the dots. God gave them the talent that they have. I'm just gonna be the conduit that helps get it to the masses.

It's going to be a series in the tri-state area, with one show coming up in late July. Where can fans see it?

You can get tickets at Ticketmaster or click the link in my bio. We also have a pay-per-view link. So if you're not in the tri-state area, you can watch it online. You can watch it on your phone, on your TV, your smart TV, whatever. My new catchphrase that I've been telling people is 'if you have just a grain of salt size love for hip hop, this is something that you would really wanna check out because these women are amazing.'

Let's talk about hip hop's beauty standards for both men and women. In recent years, many female rappers have discussed the "beauty standard" they feel they're expected to adhere to: being snatched and having a big booty. For many women, the only way to get that is plastic surgery. What are your thoughts on women going under the knife to fit said beauty standard and do you feel that men also have a beauty standard to adhere to? 

Men are out here getting on the table, just as much as women. We live in a very vain world right now. The more beautiful you are and the more appealing you are to the eye, unfortunately, those are the people that get the deals and the money and become the face of certain products. But I'm not against, plastic surgery. I don't body shame anybody that does that. What I am against is promoting it to people who are really young and they're not even developed yet. I've seen girls 15, 16, getting nose jobs, but that's not even your nose yet; your nose is gonna change, your face is gonna change, your body changes, especially us women. The body you have at 15, 16 is not the body you're gonna have when you're 20, 21. That's not the body that you're gonna have when you're 28, 29. And after children, even more so.
I feel like [surgery] is being promoted and pushed a lot to younger people that are really not prepared for that and people that can't afford it. I've seen somebody who wanted veneers and they flew to some country and for $2,000 got veneers. And within like six months, their whole mouth was infected because they didn't even know what this person had put in there. They go into these people in their basement doing lip and butt fillers and it's scary. That's what I'm against.

Switching gears — you've been married for 14 years in an industry that is known for being tough on relationships. What's your secret? 

It was just our 14th anniversary. We've been together for about 17. I tell people all the time, you have to be in it for the right reasons. It has to start with the right reasons. A lot of people get with somebody because they like the way they look or they're infatuated with their celebrity or their status or their money or the sex, but these are temporary things. These are things that could be removed. So what happens if the money's not there? What happens if he or she puts on a couple of pounds and they are not as sexy as you thought they were? What happens if the drive is not there anymore? When you're in it for those reasons and these things get taken away, nine times out of 10 people be looking for the exit door. When you're in it with your heart cause you genuinely love this person, that person could be behind bars, they could be a hundred million miles away, they can be to where you can't physically touch them or be with them, and you're gonna still be with them because this person is who you love and who you wanna be with.
There's [also] a lot of sacrifices involved because we all, regardless of how you wanna put it, we all want our way. Everybody wants certain things., I've never met two people that want the exact same thing, the exact same time all the time. It's about sacrifice. There is gonna be times when you wanna do something and because you love this person and you respect this person, you're gonna have to put your wants and your needs aside so that they can be happy and vice versa. And when y'all have that bond and chemistry, love, and respect, you guys can grow together. I'm sure you're not the same person now that you were when you was 22 or when you was 18 or when you were 15. We change and so does your partner. So you have to make sure that when you're changing and they're changing, you still can do this at every level of change

Speaking of change, let's talk about how far you've come. Your story is an inspiration. Tell us about your journey from childhood.

I feel like growing up in poverty, in impoverished neighborhoods, during a really bad drug epidemic, a lot of people had to take on that responsibility of being the mom or being a caregiver when in all actuality, you should have just been able to be a kid. It is what it is at this point what I've been through. I survived it. Thank God. But it made me stronger. It made me the person that I am today. It made me, all the wiser for it. I feel like if I would've been raised any differently, I wouldn't be who I am. I'd probably be corny. I don't know. But I feel like it's the story of so many of us.

How old were you when you became the caregiver for your siblings? 

As far as I can remember, I think things probably started really going bad when I was about seven or eight. My mom and my dad had broken up. We ended up in a shelter. It was just pretty much downhill for a while for a long while.

Was your mom struggling with addiction at the time? 

Yeah. My mom had issues. I feel like the crazy thing is it was like the norm. Everybody's mom [had addiction issues during that time]. Everybody around me. The [drug epidemic] was really, really bad.

How did you survive that? 

I'm gonna be honest. I just woke up every day at the same time. When people ask me 'how did you do that all that time?' I'm like, well I'm not gonna off myself. That's not gonna happen. I love myself too much for that, but I just woke up every day and just kept going. And things eventually got better. Some of the ideas and the plans and stuff worked. It's very important that people know that that's the key to keep going, to not give up, to keep waking up every day, to keep trying because now fast forward 20 years later my mom is great. She's amazing. It's been so long that, I don't even remember that person she was [before]. Now she's a great mom, she's a great grandmother, she's a great, great grandmother thinks to my brother's kids.

This conversation was edited for clarity.

You can catch Jazymyn's entire conversation with Remy on Youtube.

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