Remy Ma Reminisces On Big Pun And Early Prison Days

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Adelle Platon / August 5, 2014

Remy Ma hasn’t been leaning back since her homecoming. After being released from prison after a six-year bid last week, the former First Lady of the Terror Squad has clocked in time at the booth, producing this stellar verse and (hopefully) putting her saved rap notes to wax.

While her life behind bars may have been the stuff that Orange Is The New Black is made of, Reminisce Smith won’t ever forget what was once her reality. In The Fader’s forthcoming issue, the Bronx rapper offers up a diary-style entry of her first time performing, how Big Pun contributed to her success and her early days of incarceration. Read an excerpt below:

One day in high school, this Def Jam truck came around. They were promoting DMX’s new album. The side of the bus unfolded into a stage, and kids were battling. People was like, “Oh, Rem, you gotta go spit.” I was the only girl, so they were going crazy. That was the first time I performed on anything close to a stage with a crowd and everything, and I killed it. People started knowing me for being nice.

My crib was around the corner from Big Pun, and there was this dude from around my way that ran with him. This guy knew I rapped, and he was like, “Oh, I’ma link you up with Big Pun—spit for me.” I said, “No, I’m not just some human jukebox.” He was like, “Nah, for real. I wanna introduce you to him.”

We went over to Pun’s crib, and when I walk in, he’s sitting in there with boxers on, getting a massage. It’s just mad dudes everywhere. I started rhyming—the verse that I spit for him actually ended up on his album, on the song “Ms. Martin.” But he was just sitting there, like, “Aight, okay. That was aight. Here, give me your number.” That was it. I didn’t expect him to call.

But a couple days later, the phone rang. I pick it up and Big Pun is like, “You live in Castle Hill projects right? Come downstairs.” “Downstairs where?” “Out front of your building.” He’s out there with mad people. He said, “You know how to braid? I need my hair braided. Also, we ‘bout to do a video shoot with Jennifer Lopez.” So I braid his hair, and we go to this shoot, and I’m like, “Wow, this is Big Pun, that’s Fat Joe, there’s Jennifer freakin Lopez.” Pun introduced me to Joe, like, “This is my female rapper.” Mind you, this is the second time we’ve ever really been around each other. Every day after that, I came home from school and we would be in the studio late.

I found out that Pun passed in a cab. They were saying it on the radio, and I’m sitting there, like, “Pun is gon curse them out like a dog when he hears them saying he passed.” I had just seen him, and he was fine. He was actually talking about how he lost mad weight and showing old pictures of when he was cock diesel. So I called him and didn’t get an answer. I couldn’t believe it. When I had shouted Pun out on the “Ante Up” remix, it wasn’t to get any type of brownie points. He was the person that believed in me so much and had made so many plans for me, and he never got to see it happen.

Read on at The Fader here.