After spending years as protégé of Big Pun, waiting in the wings of the Terror Squad, Remy Ma (formerly Remy Martin) burst into the scene on Fat Joe’s “Lean Back”. On her debut solo album, There’s Something About Remy: Based On A True Story, Remy shows some versatility on the microphone over a wide array of above-average production.
“She’s Gone” finds Remy spitting her best “I’m better than you” lyrics over a thumping bass line and chipmunked-soul. Unfortunately, she spends much of the album bragging about herself, which becomes tedious. The Scott Storch-produced first single “Conceited” and Swizz Beatz-produced “Whuteva” are the designated club tracks, giving the listener the same ol’ beats and not much in the way of compelling lyrics. Her narcissism is at an all-time high on the David Banner produced “I’m”, which gives us an interesting hand-clap and violin soundscape, but again disappoints lyrically.
Remy Ma succeeds most when she steps outside the typical-NY-hip-hop sound, and takes creative risks. “Thug Love” might be one of the best posthumous rap collaboration of late, pairing Remy and Big Pun over an excellent Alchemist beat as they discuss love from the streets’ perspective. “Bilingual” is braggadocio at its epic best, pitting Remy with Puerto Rican reggaeton veteran Ivy Queen, finding both artists rapping in English and Spanish.
“Guilty” is a conceptual storytelling track that explores the psychological issues one goes through in the midst of committing a crime. “What’s Going On” finds Remy taking an introspective look at the delicate and intricate issue of an unwanted pregnancy and the possibility of abortion, while Keyshia Cole captures the pain of the situation on the chorus. Finally, “Still” is a simple piano ballad that finds Remy reflecting on the effect becoming famous has had on relationships with her ex-lover, her brother, and her mother.
There’s Something About Remy is good when Remy expresses herself emotionally. The production is consistently good throughout the album, but an excess of self-centered songs keep it from being a great album.