Sup, Remy? How were your holidays?
It was good. They weren’t too crazy and they weren’t too bad. There were no family fights! (laughs)
That’s good to hear. How are you approaching 2008?
I mean, it’s still business as usual. I still have to work. The show must go on, as they say. It gets a little stressful sometimes when you have so much craziness going on in your personal life and then I have to go in the studio and try to make a party record or a happy record or any music that doesn’t have to do with my case or my life. I’m so used to writing about things that I go through and things that I see. Being in a situation that I can’t even talk about, it gets stressful at times. I’m supposed to be having a lot of shows and I’m supposed to be on a European tour. I get a call that I got seven shows lined up for $20,000 apiece and I can’t go. “Can you come?” I’m like, ‘No.’ Sometimes it’s cool and some days I have bad days. That’s life.
Didn’t some promoters back out of shows since your case as well?
Definitely. When everything first happened, I had a few promoters…A lot of it wasn’t even the promoters. The cops are out of control when it comes to my shows. There have been incidents where they’ve told promoters that if I showed up, they would have to shut the show down like I’m such a big risk now. It’s like, ‘She can’t come in here.’ The word “allegedly” means nothing. That whole “innocent until proven guilty” means nothing.
Once people in your situation are cleared, it seems as though they can never fully recover from the accusation. Does that frustrate you?
It’s aggravating. It’s really aggravating. It’s stressful. At times it’s depressing, like this is my life and this is my career. This is me and this is what I do. So for me to have my whole life pretty much rearranged, it gets real annoying sometimes, especially when I know that I’m innocent and I know that I didn’t do anything. It’s crazy. I lose a lot of money. It’s not like I had the best reputation to begin with, but people just look at me crazy now.
The power of the media is real crazy. People don’t understand that these newspapers and these television shows want you to watch it and they’re going to put what will catch your eyes and your attention. No one wants to hear that there’s a possibility that she didn’t do it. They don’t want to tell you that there’s a lack of evidence or that they couldn’t get an indictment. But people want to read about a “Rapper charged with attempted murder.” That makes you want to read it. They just put what will make you want to read it and what will sell. They don’t realize at the end of the day that this is my life that they’re playing with.
A lot of artists will say the mainstream media has never treated hip-hop fairly. Have you been treated fairly by the hip-hop media?
I can’t really say that I’ve been treated fairly or unfairly. Honestly, I try to stay away from the websites, especially the comments. It’s not so much the headlines or the news the websites put up because most of the time, they get their news from the newspapers or somewhere else. Everyone gets their information from each other. But when you go into the comments, there are people who go on the internet and hate all day, no matter what the subject is. That’s all they do. If you get into that, that shit will have you depressed. I really try to stay away from the internet. I honestly feel like the hip-hop sites have shown me more love and support than the regular blogs and websites.
Lil’ Kim has been going at you recently. What exactly happened to start that?
I don’t know. Honestly, I really do not know. I couldn’t tell you. One day somebody called me like, ‘Yo, Kim got this record.’ When I heard the first record that was supposedly dissing me, it was funny to me. I was like, ‘Nah, it just sounds like a line that could fit me.’ There are times when I say lines that sound like they could be about somebody and I’m not really dissing them.
Then a week later they interviewed her and asked her if she was talking about Remy and she was saying, “Yeah, yeah.” It was funny. I swear to you, I promise you, I was laughing like, ‘What is she doing? Is she serious?’ I couldn’t tell you. She said I stay going hard at her. This is the same chick that when she got sentenced for a year, I found out where she was at and sent her flowers and said, “Hold your head, ma.” I would shout her out on the radio when I was in Philly.
So for her to come like that…I kind of knew that she sort of felt some sort of way. When we performed together at the Hip-Hop Honors, she performed but she wasn’t really talking. I figured she had just come home and she was on some other shit. That shit will have you on some other shit and you aren’t going to be as quick to chit-chat and be friendly with everybody. I don’t know.
Me, personally, I just feel like she needed something for people to talk about her. She had done the Keyshia Cole record and the Gucci Mane record. She was coming out with a mixtape and nobody really cared. She tried to put out a song that said she was dissing me and people wanted to interview her. When they saw that it was wack, nobody wanted to interview her anymore.
She said on MTV that you “stay going in on her”. When have you ever dissed her?
Going at her on what? That shit was funny to me. That was hilarious. And then I’m listening to the song…I’ll send Lady Luck at her. She can’t handle Lady Luck. (laughs) Get outta here.
When did I actually go at you hard? Did you just decide to go in? How many times did I get at you before you finally got fed up? Either way, that was your rap? That was your song to make it known? I don’t get it. I just feel like, especially when it comes to battling, you’re not going to win. She says we were going back and forth. What record? I made “When I See Her” months ago when I was making my mixtape and I was just like, ‘I’ll throw that out.’ That had nothing to do with her.
If I was to go at her, it would be crazy. I have too many other things to worry about besides a Lil’ Kim mixtape. Her whole career she never did a mixtape and I’m the mixtape murderer. What are you doing right now? Are you serious? This is what I do. I talk greasy but I live it. Stay swallowing Sprite cans. That’s what she does. She says she do what she do and I do what I do. I don’t even feel like we’re on the same page, but if she wants to…It would be better if there was some money. I’m not doing this for free. I want to take some money.
Would it take money to get a Remy Ma vs. Lil’ Kim battle?
The day that I wake up and say that I want to say something, I’m going to say it. I say whatever I want to say in my raps. I’m going to say whatever I want and that’s going to be that. But all that setting up a battle, I honestly don’t think…Me and Luck were battling in 2003 and there was a whole crowd of people and people were quiet listening to us go round-for-round. I don’t think she could do that. She couldn’t even do a mixtape by herself. She had Whoo Kid and Mister Cee picking her beats. Get out of here. That sounds crazy to me.
I really don’t think she could do that. I really don’t think she could, keeping in mind why are we all acting like we don’t know she doesn’t write? Actually, I heard some of that new mixtape. I think she wrote that one. It’s horrible. But we all know. I can’t really give full credit. I’ve heard your reference songs before you did it in your voice. I can’t really respect that. Anybody who knows me knows that that’s just what I do. I’m a rapper for real. It’s just corny to me. I personally want to know who gassed you and who told you to do that? I don’t even think that was her idea. (laughs) It’s whatever.
Have you spoken to Kim recently?
The last time I spoke to her, like words being exchanged, was when I sent her some flowers before she got locked up. When I knew she was going to have to go away, I sent her some flowers. It must have been something that I said or something that I did sometime in between and she took offense or whatever.
But I’m like, ‘If that’s how you feel, whatever.’ She said I could take it how I want to take it. I have so many other things going on that that doesn’t even exist to me. People are like, ‘Yo! Get at her!’ First of all, it wasn’t that serious. Come on. And the second song was worse than the first one. They named it the “Second Remy Ma Diss” or whatever. I don’t think that was a diss record. I really don’t. I think somebody got a hold of that record and put it on the internet like it was a Remy Ma diss record. It can’t be. That can’t be her going hard. If that’s you going hard, then I don’t know. I can’t say I don’t know because I don’t know what because I can not tell you what is on her mind.
What female rappers are on your level right now?
None. None. None that’s out that’s got records out, period. Recently, me and Jackie O have been looking for the third group member. We’re still doing the supergroup. We’re looking for somebody to be on the show and we’re looking for somebody to replace Shawnna.
To be honest, I’ve heard harder and more lyrically-talented chicks in our auditions than I’ve heard in the past, probably, 10 years in the industry. There’s a lot of talent that’s unsigned that a lot of people will probably never hear and they never got that big break or the right exposure or that person to give them that push. And these chicks are dead nice. They’re studying and they’re writing with their own pen and their own mind. They ain’t nobody’s puppets and they go hard. There are a couple of them out there.
There are a lot of chicks in Philly that go hard. I mean, I would listen to them. I would check for them. People always think that I don’t like girls. I listen to everybody and not just to girls. I look at the guys as my competition too. Whoever’s trying to put out an album is my competition. I just feel like females take so much slack and we don’t get as much recognition because of all the wack quality.
There are certain people that have been out for so long and the industry keeps on hanging onto them. Whenever they want to do a song with a female featured on them, they go to the same ones. They don’t want to bring anybody new out there. There are a lot of chicks that go hard and their pen game is crazy. It’s just about getting that light.
What will it take for female rappers to get that light?
(sighs) Honestly, if I knew, I would do it myself. If I knew! (laughs) I feel at this point, and for awhile now, people just have this perception of females that rap are going to be wack. I can honestly say that I knew people who used to say that I was wack. People still say that I’m wack. And some people are like, ‘What? She’s better than the majority of the guys that are out here.’ I just feel we shouldn’t be judged on how nice we are depending on whether we’re a girl or a guy. There’s a double standard and there’s a certain way that people look at you. If you’re a rapper and you’re a female, they have a certain idea in their mind of how you’re going to be and we have to break that.
How frustrated do you get when people ask you what it’s like to be a female rapper or you hear the term “femcee”?
(laughs) It’s a stupid thing. It’s crazy to me. I laugh. I really feel like me, honestly, at this point, I feel like I’ve actually solidified myself to where people don’t even ask me that no more. They used to ask me, ‘How does it feel being a female?’ I really don’t get that question no more because I think people really think I can stand amongst the guys. I’ve been on records with the nicest guys out and you’re going to hear what I say.
I make it a point and I make it my business to go to the studio with no rhymes. I want to write it there and in the mood I’m in like, ‘This is me.’ I don’t really get that question, but I do get the ‘Females are so underrated. How do you feel?’ question.
I admit too, the quality of the chicks that are on and that have record deals and that are getting exposure, they’re wack. Those chicks are trash. All the girl rappers are singing. They all want to be Beyonce and Rihanna. I don’t know. That’s what I think. They don’t really want to be rappers. I like rapping. This is what I do.
Looking back on your decision to leave Terror Squad, do you feel as though you made the right decision?
Definitely. I actually wish I would have left sooner. I wish I would have came to a decision sooner. In this industry, at certain times they will make you believe that you need the promotion and that you need so much. A lot of times, your talent will speak for yourself. I don’t need to be under Fat Joe and do all the things that I was doing. It would have helped and it would have been nice if everything was good, but the money wasn’t right. I wasn’t being treated fairly. I wasn’t getting the push.
Never mind the whole female part. It’s hard being an artist when the person you’re under is an artist and is still putting out music. Technically, they’re still putting out music. When you go to buy an album, their album is right next to mine. That was a big problem to me.
And also, I just felt like there was so much that I wanted to do and a lot of people didn’t like him, so it would be times when I couldn’t do things because people didn’t want to deal with him to deal with me. “Oh, we gotta go thorough him? (sighs) Oh, never mind.”
And for him, he wasn’t really going 150% for me. It was him first and then him second and him third. I was like, ‘I just have to get out of there.’ There are a lot of females who get that same treatment and they get put on the backburner and they never say anything because they’re just content to be in the group. In any group of friends, I was always the leader. So you put me in a situation where I’m second and it just didn’t work. We started to clash.
It was cool when I was 18, 19. You start getting older and you start to see that you have your car and all that and it’s like, ‘Now what?’ I want to move on. It’s like I’m under an umbrella like I’m fucking Rihanna or something! (laughs) I had to go! And that was just that.
A lot of times when you’re with people, you feel like they age you or you owe them or that because you started with them, you have to stay with them for the rest of their life. It was a real ugly situation. I wish, honestly, that we could have parted on some G-shit, like, ‘You want to do this. I want to do this. We can do a song together.’ It could have been a mutual agreement. It was like that to my face, but when the lawyers came into play, it wasn’t like that.
In an interview with XXL, you said there are stipulations in your release that prevent you from working with 50 Cent and G-Unit.
Uh huh. But I’m pretty sure I could have still fought to get that taken out of it, but I wanted to be gone so bad. All of the situations were “No G-Unit and nobody that’s affiliated with G-Unit or Sha Money for three years.”
I just thought that was so petty and so childish. That’s stuff that estranged wives do in divorces, like, ‘You can’t have that house. That’s the house we first met in. You can’t have her in that house!’ That’s how I felt. It was so petty. I never did a song with none of those people that he had in my contract, in my life, ever, and I was where I was at that point in my career. It’s like these people are now going to make me or break me. I just wanted to be gone. Whatever. Whatever you want me to sign, just let me go. That’s it. That’s it, pretty much.
Was Joe threatened by your career or does he treat every artist on Terror Squad like that?
I never felt like he felt threatened by me. I look at everybody like competition and he looked at me like I was a girl and I wasn’t competition. He wanted to make sure that he was good. It wasn’t just me. Actually, what’s so crazy, he treated me the best out of everybody. At the point when everything was going on as far as houses getting paid and who was getting put on songs and who was doing shows and stuff like that, he treated me the best. I got paid the most because I demanded it. A lot of people were sitting back and not saying it. It was everybody. I was the only one who opposed it and vocally said it. So it’s like, ‘Rem’s crazy.’ Look at everybody. Okay, let me ask you a question. Let’s switch this for a second. Who is Terror Squad? Name the artists in Terror Squad.
I would say Fat Joe, Armageddon, Prospect and Tony Sunshine. And DJ Khaled.
Now Tony Sunshine has his release papers. He just spoke to me. I just spoke to him the other day. I’m going to go do a song for him. He’s got a mixtape coming called Sub-TS. Tony Sunshine officially has his release papers. Armageddon, when did Armageddon leave? Geddy left in 2005 and Prospect left in 2005. Cuban’s been gone. Do you see Tony Sunshine or Prospect in his videos? Do you see them on Khaled’s album? Where are they? Where’s Prospect’s album? Where’s Tony’s album? Why aren’t they in the “Make It Rain” video? I remember he called me. We were still speaking them. He called me to be in the video with Lil’ Wayne. Where are they at?
Fat Joe once said on HipHopGame that the reason other members weren’t out like that was because they weren’t working hard enough.
Say I meet you, right, in 1990. In 2007, do you think you’re still going to have that same grind and drive after you’ve been told plenty of stories and none of it happened? After awhile, people started losing their drives. I’ve been here for six or seven years. I’m looking at people who have been there around 14 years and at their financial situation and their living situation…It’s about the money. It’s the worst thing to be famous and be broke. I was just looking at the situation and I saw the pattern and it wasn’t looking good. Do an interview with Prospect. Do an interview with Armageddon. Do an interview with Tony Sunshine. And then to sum it up, do an interview with Cuban Link and match all of our stories.
I’m telling you, he’s not just this bad guy. He’s actually a nice guy, but when it comes to that money and that business, all that friendship is out the window. That’s what I had to realize. But the way that he was separating our friendship, that’s what I had to do. And then when I did that back, he didn’t like it. He didn’t like it at all.
Is there any friendship between you and Joe today?
I mean, at this point, no. No. Me, how could I be your friend and how could you love me like a sister and all this other stuff that you say and still you don’t care about my situation and anything that has to do with me, period? If I love somebody, I love them to death. I’ll do what I have to do. It wasn’t like one hand washes the other. It wasn’t just me. It was everybody. I want you to interview all the people that you think is down with the Terror Squad and ask them when the last time was that they even spoke to Joe.
Where are they? Name a crew. Okay, let’s take G-Unit for example. Look at his “I Get Money” video. You see all the people that you think is in G-Unit. You see the Hot Rod kid and you see Tony Yayo and you see Lloyd Banks. Go watch the last Fat Joe videos and tell me if you saw anybody that I named. Tell me. Please. They’re not going to be in there. I promise you.
Why aren’t more artists speaking out against Joe?
They would speak about it to us, but when he come around, they wouldn’t say nothing. I guess them being guys, I’m guessing, but them being guys, they would probably fight and they would probably get physical. Being a girl, you can’t just punch me in the face if I say something that you don’t like. I think it was the fact that I was a girl that it changed things. But after awhile, the drive and the hunger is not there. Dudes got families and wives and you can’t just argue about, “Why aren’t you doing me right?” For what? Really, they just gave up.
Terror Squad has an album deal with Koch. How do you think that album will come out?
They’re putting out another Terror Squad album? He probably got a bunch of new guys who don’t know that they’re never going to make a dime or a dollar in their writing. Who knows? I don’t know. Him and Khaled…that’s the only people that I know that are Terror Squad.
Has DJ Khaled supported you since leaving Terror Squad?
Actually, no! Khaled won’t play my records. What? And risk the fact of Fat Joe screaming on him and not speaking to him again like when he was playing too many G-Unit records or too many Jay-Z records. Are you crazy? He won’t do that. He’s not going to go against Joe for me. Nah. We was just in Miami. Me and Jackie O were doing the TV show and we were holding our Miami auditions and we had to go through the radio. I told Jackie to do the interview without me because Khaled was like, ‘If she does the interview, I can’t do it.’
But when I see Khaled face-to-face, he’s like, ‘Man, what’s good! Whaddup! What’s good! What’s the record? Send it to me!’ That’s the part that gets me tight. Keep it a hundred. If that’s your dude, ride with him and say it. Don’t smile in my face and then when it comes to radio spins you’re acting funny. Nope. He won’t.
Cuban Link has said that he still feels blackballed in many parts of the industry besides radio since he had a falling out with Fat Joe. Do you feel as though Joe blackballed you?
I don’t feel like Joe blackballed me for the simple fact that I have my own fanbase and I had made it to where I had my own connections. When I was handing people my record, Fat Joe wasn’t standing with me. Most people know what it is. I’ve probably had one person out of everybody I know in the whole industry who was mad, like, ‘Why are you doing that to Joe?’ Honestly, I don’t feel like people blackballed me at all. I don’t feel like that. Some people I know think he tried to but it didn’t work! (laughs)
I asked him one time. I had asked him if he told such-and-such not to play my records. He said no, but then again, he told me a lot of things that he didn’t really follow through with. So I can’t really say that, but I don’t feel like that, personally.
When you got out of your Terror Squad deal and you performed with 50 Cent during his five boroughs tour, was 50 cool to you?
50 was mad cool to me. He called me before he did the show. He wanted to get someone from the Bronx. Who else was from the Bronx besides Fat Joe? I didn’t do that to make Fat Joe mad. I knew he was going to be livid and be out of his mind, but this is my life now and this is my career. I can’t go through every day worrying about, ‘Oh, is Joe going to be mad?’ He does nothing for me. Nothing. Why am I worried so much about what he thinks? He’s not worried about what I think.
When they was doing the “We Takin’ Over (Remix)” and they put Lil’ Kim on that, I thought that was hilarious. It’s not that I had beef with her, but, like, are y’all serious? He was on the radio like, ‘It’s the Queen. She’s the best.’ You was just saying four months ago that I’m the best. Make up your mind. That was real corny to me. It’s whatever.
A lot of fans think 50 Cent used J-Hood by having him come onstage with him in the Bronx. Do you feel as though 50 was using you?
I don’t know. What’s so crazy is that the footage that they show is from the show in Queens. I had actually done the Bronx show with him and the show in Queens. The Bronx show was so crazy that he wanted me to come to the show in Queens. It’s whatever. At the time and still to this day, I’m a free agent. We were discussing business ways that we could work on my album and put my album out. It had nothing to do with Joe. People in the industry were like, ‘That’s foul.’ How is that foul?
I’m not saying that J-Hood is right or that J-Hood is wrong, but if he don’t deal with y’all, why is he still not supposed to speak to people y’all don’t speak to? I don’t understand that. How does that work? That does nothing for me. How does that work? If it was the same way…It’s supposed to be the same way on both ends. Sometimes it be one-sided. If you don’t care, go ahead. If I don’t mess with somebody no more, I don’t care who you with. Do what you do. Stay away from me. Why are y’all worried about this nigga if you don’t need him? Why are you worried? It’s nothing. Get out of here. Everybody takes it too serious. If you get down with somebody and you start out and it doesn’t work out, I’m supposed to just stay with y’all and keep throwing my career down the drain because I started with y’all? No. I’m going to get out and get a better situation.
If 50 Cent came to you with a good deal, would you consider getting down with G-Unit?
At this point in my career, I don’t feel like I want to be down with anybody’s crew. I don’t want to be the girl of anybody’s crew. I know what I want and I know what I need to do. I need to have my own shit. If he came to me about a Remy Ma label through G-Unit, then yeah, maybe we could talk. But I’m not interested in signing to be anybody’s girl rapper in their crew. I’m more than that. I’m my own artist. And 50, actually, he understands that. He knows that. He feels like that. If the money is right and the stupid stipulation in my contract is up, I’m doing what’s best for me and not what’s best for the next nigga’s reputation. You feel what I’m saying? That doesn’t pay my bills.
Is there an ideal place for you right now?
Nope. I feel like the music and the talent must speak for itself. I want to be where the people think like me; where they want to win. I want to be where the people want to win and they want to work and they want to take chances. I want to be where the people are not trying to copy other people and where they want to do something different. I’m tired of the same old shit. I’m done with that, for real. Whoever that is, that’s where I’m going to go. Some people want to be with Def Jam because they’re popping right now or they want to be down with Lil’ Wayne because he’s popping. They’re trying to follow the wave and I’m trying to make my own wave.
How’s your new album PunisHER coming?
I’ve been working on it. I was working on it when I finished my first album. I don’t understand how people put out an album and don’t come out worth an album for five more years. I’m always writing, even when I don’t want to. “Get me that instrumental!” That’s why I’m doing mixtapes. I don’t make money off of mixtapes. I got music that I want out and I got things that I want said that no one has said. It’s different for me. I’m a rapper for real. I can’t not make music. When I’m sitting in the crib without a record deal, that doesn’t mean that I fall. I work. When I do sign my deal, my album’s done. If I decide to bring in some new producers to add to it, cool, but in the meantime, I’m still working. I never stopped.
And that’s another thing that people forget. People are so wrapped up in the Fat Joe thing because there are so many big records, they forget that Pun is the one who signed me and how he gave me my big break.
Pun was trying to change my name from Remy. I was like, ‘That’s my real name. I like my name!’ He wanted to change my name to “Colorz”. “Oh, Colorz, that would be hot!” I was like, ‘No! My name is not going to be Colorz!’ He would call me like, ‘Punisher!’ I’m like, ‘Your name is Punisher. What are you talking about?’ He was like, ‘No, like Punish-Her, like the girl version of Punisher! Punish-Her. That’s hot! That’s hot!’ I was like, ‘Yeah, that is hot, but I wasn’t changing my name to that!’ I always felt like I would name my album that. I had already decided that that would be my title before all of this craziness. If I got a call right now like, ‘Here’s your deal, here’s your papers. We want to put the album out tomorrow,’ I would be able to give it to them.
Speaking of Big Pun, where would Terror Squad be today if Pun were still here?
I feel like even if Pun wasn’t here and everybody just felt like they were being treated fairly and everybody put 100% towards everybody and not just to themselves, it would be a wrap. That Terror Squad album is crazy. “Lean Back” is one of the biggest hip-hop records ever. Just for that, we’re supposed to be on a whole ‘nother plateau and it didn’t go that way because everybody wanted to be big-headed and they wanted to feel like they were the reason things went like that. I feel like there was a lot of selfishness and a lack of communication for the way Terror Squad is today. I definitely feel like it would be different if Pun were here today, but you can’t really say because that’s not how it is. I can just assume what I think.
There was recently a woman claiming that she had a sexual relationship with you. What did you think when you saw that?
I don’t think that’s a woman, first of all! I’ve never seen that nigga-bitch in my life. I don’t even like girls as friends, more or less to have a relationship with one. My brother said, “That’s when you know you really made it, when they say you’re gay. (laughs) When they gay rumor goes out, that’s when you officially made it.” I have no idea.
I’ve never seen that girl in the entirety of my life. Everybody’s calling me telling me I had to get it taken off the internet. Why? There’s way worse shit that’s been said about me and I didn’t get those taken down. There’s haters out there and there’s people out there who are trying to be known for, I don’t know, whatever. But that shit is crazy.
What really made it officially funny is that when she tried to say she called me on the phone. My voice is like none other. I can’t even prank call. I called you from a blocked number and you knew it was me because my voice sounds like none other. The whole shit is just bogus. I can’t even tell you where it came from. Being that it came during the week when somebody was trying to put out diss records about me, maybe somebody in that camp put it out. Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t care.
You also make a lot of appearances at schools to talk to kids. How important is that to you?
I definitely feel like our youth is so misled and they have the biggest misconception of what the industry is like. They think that all they have to do is make a hot record and they’ll be set for life. They don’t really understand the ins and outs of the business and they don’t understand that 99% of what they see is for entertainment. It’s for entertainment purposes only. That’s why there’s the parental advisory sticker. There’s fake guns in the movies and it’s all just acting. They have to realize that a lot of what they see is not real. It’s not easy. It’s not a business of longevity.
Being that I have a son and I have little sisters and little brothers and I know there’s a lot of kids that look up to me, I know what I have to do. Do you know how many people think I’m this crazy, psycho person that goes around shooting people and then they meet me in person and they’re like, ‘Oh, my God, she really has a vocabulary other than ‘Fuck,’ ‘shit’ and ‘bitch’ and, ‘Oh, she doesn’t really smack people when she meets them’? They see that we’re human.
I feel like if I can get out there and explain to people about some tips that I’ve learned, maybe they won’t have to go through what I had to go through. I’ve never had any famous rappers come to my school or come to my ‘hood and do anything. Just to be able to do that feels good. It feels good to be interacting with people. They say they never knew I was like that.
I definitely enjoy going to the group homes and there’s one place where it’s all girls. It’s pregnant, young teens and they connect better because they already like your music and they like you and they want to be like you and they feel like they know you. When you’re addressing them or you’re telling them stories and incidents that you went through, they can relate. It’s a different connection than just listening to a song or watching a video. That’s not real. It’s real to an extent because it’s the ‘hood. I rap about what happens in the ghettoes and the ‘hoods. That’s why so many people feel like I’m real. I’m past that though. That’s what we want to get out of. That’s not the route that you want to go.
What does it mean to you when someone says your music helped them get through a difficult situation?
That’s crazy. That’s a great feeling. I know how I’ve felt when I was coming up and I was in the grind and I was just trying to survive from day to day and certain songs made me stop crying or it made me just want to not fucking kill myself or whatever was going through my mind on that day. So if someone says that a song that I made made them feel better and stopped them from making a bad decision, that’s what makes me keep on doing what I do.
What’s the next move for you?
Right now, my main focus is my son, every day of my life. For a long time, it was just me and all I had to worry about was me. Everything I do since August 13, 2000, I know it’s going to reflect his life. A lot of people don’t understand that.
Most people grow up and they sell drugs or they rob people or do whatever they’re doing. Do you think they’re doing that because they want to? People are born into a situation where there’s no food and no bills are paid and your mother may be on drugs and the father’s not there. There’s broken homes and these people are born into situations and they don’t have a chance to begin with. You have to make that chance for yourself.
A lot of times I sit back like, ‘If I didn’t meet Pun, what the hell would I be doing right now?’ I was really smart in school, but I have a lot of friends who went to college and got their degrees and they’re at home with their mother, trying to get a job and they’re struggling. The majority of people who especially relate to my music and come from the places that I talk about in my music, they’re born into that situation.
Do you think if someone had a million dollars, they would be out on the corner robbing people and selling drugs? No. They don’t have to! people don’t understand how few opportunities there are for people of, I can’t even say “of color” no more, but for people of poverty because I’ve been to some places where the majority of white people are living with broken windows and in abandoned buildings. When we were in Detroit, there was a whole project complex that was abandoned except for five apartments. It was just crazy. People are born into situations where they don’t really have no way out.
What do you want to say to everybody?
I definitely need people to understand that I’m human. I’m normal. Don’t believe everything you read in the papers. Don’t believe everything you hear on the radio. Sometimes you have to really sit down and think logically for yourself and understand situations because the media is a motherfucker.
There’s times where, after what I’ve went through, I don’t even read the newspaper no more. People are saying I have a daughter and a son. They couldn’t even find out how many children I have! If they get that wrong, anything could be anything. Don’t judge people. I’m human and everybody’s human. And I’m the nicest that’s doing this right now. The PunishHER album is going to be crazy. The new mixtape is BlasRemy. That’s crazy. Crazy!