Über Remy Ma
For an emcee with such a strong presence on the microphone, Remy Ma's career has been defined by absence. Her acidic wit, strident voice and uptown gangsta lyrics have graced such hits as the Terror Squad's "Lean Back" and M.O.P.'s "Ante Up (Remix)," but until the 2006 release of Conceited Remy Ma was always the maid, and never the bride. The fierce Bronx emcee had been making the rounds in Castle Hill freestyle competitions throughout high school, but she didn't gain any real regional notoriety until none other than the late, great Big Pun championed her in the late 1990s. Pun anointed the then-18-year-old rapper the "first lady of Terror Squad" and even helped her land a deal with Loud Records. But when Pun passed in 2000, Remy's luck began to change for the worse. Loud Records tanked, and Ma had to endure personal trials that threatened to capsize her career. Meanwhile, all was not well with Terror Squad. The Latin-flavored, N.Y.C. crew founded by Fat Joe in the mid '90s was experiencing growing pains. Marquee acts Cuban Linx and Triple Seis left the fold, and there have been persistent rumors of a falling out between Joe and Remy. But the pair put aside their differences when they teamed up for the mammoth 2004 anti-dance anthem "Lean Back." Over a typically tightly-wound Scott Storch banger, the rapper who dubs herself "that bitch" stands toe-to-toe with Fat Joe as she describes walking around the club's metal detectors. Afterwards, there was a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding Remy, but her record label failed to capitalize and it would be another year and a half before her solo debut saw the light of day.