The Remy Ma Sentencing: Rappers Aren’t People Too?


With Remy Ma sentenced to eight years for shooting a woman in an argument over money, it’s time for the columnists to come out with a bunch of outrage about violence in hip-hop. Tabloided fave Andrea Peyser takes the reins today with a column about how another rapper is being sentenced for gunplay. But what really sticks out is one word: “something.”

When explaining exactly who was being sentenced, Peyser provides the description: “This time, the rapper was something that calls herself Remy Ma” (emphasis mine). Wow, way to dehumanize someone! And we wonder why there’s so much racial tension…

Meanwhile, the papers are still having fun with Ma’s fiancé, Papoose, who allegedly tried to sneak a handcuff key into Rikers Island Monday, thereby canceling their wedding ceremony. When he pleaded to be locked up after the sentencing, the Post‘s article by Laura Italiano described the scene thusly:

“‘Lock me up! F–in’ lock me up!’ Papoose taunted court officers in a courthouse hallway after the emotional sentencing, sounding like some profane rapper Romeo desperate to follow his lost love — not to the grave, but to the hoosegow.”

The Daily News plays the story much more matter-of-factly, describing the sentencing and noting that Ma didn’t receive much sympathy from the judge or her victim. The paper also concentrates on Ma’s victim, including quotes from her impact statement, where Makeda Barnes-Joseph writes, “I will always be the girl they whisper about…I will always be the girl who got shot by Remy.” If anything, this serves as a reminder that despite how outrageous and circus-like the atmosphere, this is a story about people—not “somethings”—and that people were actually hurt.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 14, 2008


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