Remy Ma’s six years in prison could have destroyed her rap career, but that wasn’t even on her radar while behind bars. Her biggest struggles in jail are not what you’d expect — read about them here.
When Remy Ma, 37, was sentenced to eight years in prison, she was a promising up-and-comer rapper with a Grammy nomination. But after arriving at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women on May 13, 2008, it wasn’t the probable death of her career that haunted her. “I’m very independent. I’ve been like that my whole life. I’ve been pretty much on my own since I was 13 … If I ask you for something, I am literally dying,” she told HollywoodLife.com describing her major struggles behind bars. “So to not be able to get my own soap, not my own clothes, that was probably for me, the hardest thing and the most humbling thing.” Listen to the whole podcast here.
But “being away from my loved ones, people that I know I took care of and now I don’t know what they’re doing because I’m not there,” also took a major toll on her psyche. Her son Jace was only seven years old when she was sent away. While she was released early on August 1, 2014 — nearly a year and a half earlier than her original sentence gave her — she still missed a large chunk of her kid’s childhood considering he was 14 by the time she came home.
Her relationship with husband Papoose was also affected; the couple got married in May 2008 while she was incarcerated and she spent the first six years of their marriage in a maximum security prison an hour north of New York City. “You would think it was much further, the amount of visits that I got from people outside of my immediate family,” she said. “Year one it was okay. People were able to hold up the facade for a year. Year two you start seeing a couple of people drop off. By year five, six, you know who’s who and what’s what.” Thankfully Papoose wasn’t one of those people. He visited every single day during her first year, and it actually got so excessive that she told him to stop visiting so frequently.
But even though she struggled with her lack of freedom and distance from loved ones, other inmates’ stories helped her put things in perspective. “I met some really good people and when I thought I would just lose my mind there were people that were there for me and was like listen, you have eight years. And I know it’s hard and you’re away from your son, I have 25 and I haven’t seen my son in eight years. So, you know, when you see people that are way worse than you and they still have their head up and they’re still fighting and they’re telling you to fight. It’s just crazy. It was like a wake up call. I had never experienced anything like that.”
While being incarcerated was certainly difficult, Remy has come a long way since serving six years in prison. At the 2017 BET Awards, she ended her rival Nicki Minaj‘s seven-year winning streak when she won Best Female Hip Hop Artist over the “Anaconda” rapper. She’s also been nominated for two more Grammys, joined the cast of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: New York, and collaborated with other incredible female rappers like Cardi B, 25, and Lil Kim, 41.
To hear the rest of our interview with the rapper, check out our weekly podcast!
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of Remy opening up about prison?