“The fact that I started in battle rap, that’s, that’s part of the inspiration” behind Chrome 23, Remy Ma tells HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview. The women-only competition (dubbed “Chrome 23” for “Chromosome 23,” which determines a person’s sex) recently launched, with Remy hosting events that put the spotlight on the top 10 female-identifying rappers in the community. As Remy got her start in the battle rap scene of her native Bronx and surrounding boroughs, she tells HollywoodLife how she wants Chrome 23 to help kickstart the careers of these talented hip-hop artists.
“I’m just a very, very huge battle rap fan, like I’m thoroughly into it,” she says. “I try to make it to as many battles in person that I can see. I follow it. When I have to, I pay-per-view it so I can watch it. And I just felt like now’s a really great time for women in hip hop in general. So to bring some of my celebrity and my resources, and my know-how, just of the industry, my knowledge of the industry into that space and help the women over there probably take their career a little bit further than where it is right now. That was my motivation to try to elevate and push the culture forward.”
Remy emphasizes that she wants the culture to advance “equally” for everyone because there is a “very, very large pay gap between the men and the women in battle rap.”
“I definitely feel like women are at the top of the food chain when it comes to hip hop,” says Remy. “I’ve been in the industry for 20 years since I was in high school. And this is the most that I’ve seen women prevalent in the game where they’re several different ones from different regions, putting out different projects, and they all have their own fan base in their own right and their own start of the celebrity.”
“I feel like now’s a great time to transition that spotlight from just being on Main Street and you know, industry artists, on to woman and female battle rap,” she continues. “But what I feel like, what’s missing is the variety, the difference, because the people are different, but it’s very subtle differences. I feel like what the women of female battle rap have. They can offer a whole new lane of the craft of creativity that people don’t know women are capable of because we’re only, you know, spoon-fed a certain amount of topics I want to say.” Remy promises that as Chrome 23 continues, the series will “make women, in general, have to step their pen game up,” as she challenges convention with this battle rap showdown.
Chrome 23 might also be a perfect way for any fan – male, female, or nonbinary – to get into battle rap. “The the best way for me to describe it, especially to people that are not familiar with it… it’s kinda like Verzuz,” says Remy. “It’s exactly like Verzuz. Everything that we love about Verzuz is the epitome of what battle rap is; just take away the production and take away the big names. And it’s just the raw talent of people using their pen surgically– doctoring up these amazing pieces of art that become ours.”
During HollywoodLife’s EXCLUSIVE interview, Remy spoke about which women should be on everyone’s radar, her excitement for the “Queens Get The Money” event (that aired on Feb. 27 – check out all the highlights here) – and more.