By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
"Next, we have a special young lady who is going through a lot right now. . . . "
Suddenly, Jenn is nowhere to be found. Remy looks around for someone to take her purseand gestures to the Voice reporter who's been tagging along. Moment of serious indecision. Ah, what the hell . . .
Remy steps out, and the kids erupt into cheers and rush the stage, pulling out cell phones to take pictures. A boy in a wheelchair is so taken that he can't keep his mouth closed.
"Can you tell us what's going on with your case?" asks the host.
"No, but I can tell you how important it is to stay in school," says Remy, not missing a step.
She makes it through the rest of the questions and breaks into her three-song set. The kids sing along to every word, even the ones not really appropriate for school. Her signature song "Conceited," especially, seems to resonate with the young girls in the audience:
Dip it low, pick it up, slow-poke it out, now roll with it
My thong is showing, but it's cool, my shoes go with it
Now all I need is a room with a pole in it
See, I look good and I'm knowing it
But I was never too proud to be showing it.
After the performance, Remy takes back her purse and pauses to reflect. "I know people are going to read this article and say, 'I like her.' Or they'll say, 'She's a stupid bitch.' "
If Remy won't talk about what put her in jail, she's got plenty to say about the several hours she stayed there before making bail.
"First of all, it wasn't my first time. It was my first time as Remy Ma. Big difference. First of all, I saw this chick I grew up with when I was in there. I'm in a cell next to this bitch I hate my whole fucking life. She asked me, 'What are you doing in here?'
"Me: 'Same thing you're doing here.'
"Then this other chick was talking mad shit: 'You're supposed to be a fucking role model. You should be ashamed of yourself.'
"Me: 'Where's your kids?'
"Woman: 'My fucking kids look up to you.'
"Me: 'Your fucking daughter should look up to you! What fucking type of role model are you?'
"The guard was like, 'Remy, don't listen to them. They just want to be able to say they spoke to you.' After that, the [officers] wanted autographs. The chick that was cleaning up, she wants to be a rapper. She brought me a book to read. . . . A lot of the girls were really humble and nice."
Not her first time in jail?
"I got community service because a chick ran over my foot with her car. I went crazy on her. We got into a fight. She called the cops." Remy says the incident happened when she was still a minor, but doesn't specify an age. She says that when she didn't complete the sentence, she was remanded and had to serve nine days on Rikers. "The first day I get there, they have a raid. They took my sneakers. I never felt so violated in my life."
Well, at least until it was time to be released after the July shooting. "Oh, God," Remy says. "I'm already pissed, and after court they put me on the bus to Rikers Island. Another three or four hours [in jail]I'm getting out at 1 a.m. I'm positive the newspapers paid the bus driver. I know where the bus stops when you come from Rikers, because I used to live out there. But the bus goes past that stop and to this little corner. I get out and there are mad paparazzi, like it was their home base. I can't even walk. This dude is like, 'Yeah, go ahead and touch this camera. Your ass will be right back on Rikers Island.' [They're saying things like,] 'That's how you treat your friends?' . . . things purposely to get you to react."
At least, she says, she was spared worse press by an unlikely event: the explosion in midtown that shoved her off the front page of the tabs. "The steam-pipe explosion, that's what saved me," she says.
She also caught a break when prosecutors knocked down the charges from attempted murder to first-degree assault. But Remy then apparently made things much worse for herself: Prosecutors allege that she tried to intimidate a friend to keep her from being a witness in the upcoming trial. Remy reportedly ran into the boyfriend of the witness at the Players' Club in the Bronx and complained that the friend had changed her cell-phone number. "Your girlfriend is changing her number on me. People are talking on the stand," Remy is accused of saying.
Later, members of Remy's entourage allegedly beat the boyfriend and another man badly.
Remy is scheduled to be in court November 11 for a pretrial hearing. Her attorney, Ivan Fischer, is hopeful that Remy will receive a fair trial. "So far, her being a rapper has not affected the case," he says. "There are people who have a high regard for rap and her music."