Remy Ma May Not Be A Megastar, But She's Still Winning
More often than they should, people downplay Remy Ma's success. They view artists like Nicki Minaj and Cardi B as living a grander, more fulfilling and happy life; but they forget that there's more to life and success than topping the Billboard charts.
What is success? It’s one of the most asked questions; so much so, that it’s become tired at this point. Most people believe success can be measured by wealth: the more money and material things you have, the more successful you are. Here is where mankind tends to go overboard with the amount of importance we place on money and possessions: we’ve conformed to the capitalist culture; where people feed into “get rich” scams and spend thousands on financial advice books that claim they’ll help you earn millions.
Greed does not discriminate. In each person’s heart, there is a desire for worldly things. Of course, in certain people’s hearts this desire burns more fiercely; and in certain cultures, this desire is accepted more emphatically, as opposed to being seen as a dangerous vice.
By some cultures, I especially mean hip-hop: the land of iced-out everything and birthplace of masterful emcees ready and willing to assert their affluence over a “funky” beat on an 8-track tape. When we place hip-hop artists in the hypothetical ‘rap caste system,’ we, of course, have the low-record-selling, modestly-living, standing-room-only concert artists at the very bottom, while the platinum-selling, international tour, selling-out arenas artists are at the very top. We see them as most successful in the game and the most successful in life—
Which is sometimes wrong.
Among women artists, especially, is where the brunt of this facile mindset is felt: the scarcity of widely successful women rappers causes fans and critics to compare and pit one rapstress against the other, the artist with the most sales and biggest bank account always coming out on top.
It is for this reason that some women rappers can get away with having ghost writers — as long as they’re climbing charts, of course — and having subpar lyrics, delivery, and flow. It is for this reason that legends are so easily forgotten and mistreated when the current ‘queen’ is in the spotlight: Lil Kim is by far one of the most talented and successful women rappers, but that didn’t stop her from becoming “washed up” and “trash” when Nicki’s reign overshadowed hers. Some would even say that the same thing is happening with Nicki and Cardi B.
When the culture’s measure of success is wealth and sales, it leads to the popularization of incorrect beliefs, like the image of Remy Ma as a failing, miserable artist in her late 30s who must resort to making lethal diss tracks against other artists to feel better about herself.
This image couldn’t be further from the truth.
The truth is that Remy Ma is thriving. She’s winning now and has been winning for the past couple of years. I'm inclined to believe that her metric of success is slightly different from that of the mainstream hip-hop fanatics, which is why some can't see just how outstanding her comeback is.
I think most people have forgotten that only four years ago, Remy Ma was a woman re-entering civilian life after six years in prison, anxious about whether or not her career was over for good. It's hard enough leaving a regular life behind when going behind bars, but imagine how much of a shock it is for a wealthy and famous person to relinquish all freedom. Not only that, but Remy Ma comes from an era of hip-hop that is much more different than today's radio bangers.
So, I'd like to see how everyone trying to discredit Remy Ma would've handled the situation. Would they have released a song that went double platinum, only two years after having left prison? Would they have broke the internet with their iconic, lyrically-fatal diss track? Despite what people have to say about "ShETHER," we all know that it will be remembered for years to come. Would they have gotten a TV deal? (Granted, it is Love and Hip-Hop, but it's still impressive that after all these years, Remy can still attract attention.)
But we're still focusing on numbers and popularity -- two things that we've already established are not the defining characteristics of success. When we think about her six-year stint in prison, we have to remember that she missed out on valuable time with family; missed out on watching her son grow up. What's even more long-lasting than the fame and records is the personal relationships you build with people -- and compared to some of the rappers on top, Remy Ma has got that part of life in the bag. She has a great husband who stood by her side through thick and thin (like a real husband should, okurrr), supportive, life-long friends that want nothing more than to see her succeed, and after suffering a miscarriage, is now expecting a child.
People forget that happiness, fulfillment, and prosperity can be acquired in many different ways, and that no one's expression of these three themes is greater or worse than someone else's. Remy Ma is a boss woman that defined her vision and worked hard to make it a reality. In an industry that oftentimes forgets about the less opulent and stressful, yet rewarding parts of life, like family, friendship, and togetherness, it is a great reminder that "bossing up" doesn't always have to be about gaining money or impressing others, but about improving yourself as a whole and bringing in positive people into your life.
It's about time that we stop comparing and pitting women rappers against each other. It's a double standard and strips away the uniqueness from each artist. Do we call Future trash when Drake sells more records than him, or makes it higher on the Billboard chart? Do we call Nas "washed up" and discredit him when another artist, like 6ix9ine, starts gaining popularity and success? No -- so it shouldn't be that way with our female rappers.
Remy Ma stays true to herself and is a great role model for young girls. She shows young women that with hard work and noble values, you can snap back from any setback. Some hip-hop fans may disagree, but Remy Ma is on top right now and she'll probably be there for a while. What do y'all think? Let us know in the comments!