Hard-hitting rapper Remy Ma has been on top of the Hot 100 and earned repeated Grammy recognition during a lengthy career disrupted by a prison term. The Bronx native born Reminisce Smith grew up in an environment greatly affected by drug addiction. As she raised her younger siblings, she also found time to write and perform rhymes and poetry. While still a teenager, she caught the attention of Big Pun, who mentored her and featured her on Yeeeah Baby, released in 2000 (two months following his death). Remy subsequently appeared on the remix of M.O.P.'s "Ante Up" and released the Swizz Beatz-produced single "Monster." She truly broke through in 2004 as a member of Terror Squad, whose "Lean Back" — featuring her on the second verse — went number one pop and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Remy's first solo album, There's Something About Remy: Based on a True Story, followed two years later. Boosted by the Scott Storch collaboration "Conceited," it debuted in the Top Ten of the R&B/hip-hop chart.
An assault conviction resulted in a prison term that prevented Remy from recording for six years, a period during which she married fellow rapper Papoose. Granted freedom in 2014, she immediately resumed recording with an assortment of featured appearances and solo material that included the mixtape I'm Around. Additionally, she joined the cast of Love & Hip Hop: New York. She teamed up with Fat Joe for the full-length 2017 release Plata o Plomo, an album that featured a handful of hit singles. Most successful was the preceding "All the Way Up," which went Top 30 pop on its way to a multi-platinum certification and Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. By the end of 2017, Remy had released the Lil' Kim collaboration "Wake Me Up," the first single from her second proper solo album. That full-length, the deeply autobiographical 7 Winters & 6 Summers, arrived on Columbia the following year. ~ Marisa Brown & Andy Kellman