Follow RichJuz on Twitter

I'm So Into You

« Catching up with the boys | Main | How 'bout them Grammys? »

Comments

Saun

You know what Rich? I really enjoyed reading this. I couldn't pinpoint why I like Remy Ma even though sometimes I think that she's a mess but I think you figured it out for me. She is who she is. I may just have to check out the cd. And is it just me or does she sometimes resemble Kelis? Check that "something about remy" picture.

Penny Woods

It always pissed me off to see female rappers go from tomboy looks to looks that are more feminine, and I'd like to extend that to most of the girl groups I saw growing up including TLC, SWV and Xscape. They came out on the scene with baggy clothes and tomboyish looks, but eventually they wore "sexier" and more revealing clothing. I wish they could have stood up for their looks instead of comforming to some standard created by the media.

And I never knew Remy Ma had a dick.

Rich

I considered mentioning TLC, but in their case, I really, really do think it was just them growing up (I mean, even those futuristic "No Scrubs" outfits, even if they showed some skin, were definitely on the cyberbutch side). I don't remember Xscape's progression (though I do remember the caps and bagginess at the start of their career), and I don't know, SWV were sort of the Queen H.A.M.s of their day, I think, channeling the tomboy sense of TLC and the hoochie-glamor of early En Vogue, alike (I remember skin-tight skirts and caps and jerseys in the It's About Time booklet).

But yes, I can see how they all somewhat fit into what I'm talking about -- really, I probably could have gone on for days.

price

Why did I even go to college? My guidance counselor should have just said... "wait a few years, there will be a special website for anything you ever need to know."

lovejoy

I question whether the initial masculine images of many young, black female stars are entirely of their own doing or are the at the record company's behest, with the artist taking more control of her image as she "proves herself" on the charts. (Although, I must confess that I don't know whether there's a correlation between chart performance and debut of "glam" to support this theory, but please hear me out). There's definitely "an agenda," if you will, by the entertainment industry to thwart the use of feminine, attractive black women and advance the idea that black women are sexually undesirable. Pine Sol Lady, anyone?

But really, have you ever noticed how the extras and bit parts in film, TV, and commercials, when filled with black women, are usually filled with REALLY unappealing black women? ER, Grey's Anatomy, various and sundry clerks, government workers, airport security personnel, orderlies, etc. are more often than not really fat, boisterous, oogly women that you wouldn't want to tangle with, neither in the sheets nor in a dark alley, while their white counterparts tend to be slim and more "socially-accepted as attractive" (but that's a whole other topic).

As a point of reference look to the fat, black, sloppy-bosomed, ham-handed maid of the old Tom and Jerry cartoons and her slim, white, well-groomed counterpart, both shown only from the neck down, to the slim/white--fat/black team of the Reynolds Wrap ladies depicted in commercials today.

That's not to say that this convention isn't evolving a bit -- the likes of Aisha Tyler, Gabrielle Union, and Stacy Dash being chosen for bit parts in CSI, Friends, Grey's Anatomy, etc. and the the interracial best friend "Yoplait women" are a nice example of this standard evolving, but the convention lives on.

So maybe it's less the rap chicks' choice to debut butch than record company executives' prediliction for adhering to a well-established convention, but with a twist --- since most of these young women are very attractive, even outright gorgeous, some of 'em, the easiest way to lower their mainstream sex appeal is to dyke 'em out. I'll even introduce, in closing, the possibility that the execs are so far removed from the psyches of their target audiences that they make misguided assumptions about their sexual tastes.

At any rate, I thank you, Rich, for presenting, for public consumption, such a perspective of young black women in entertainment, let alone such a poignant, thoughtful, well-written one.

Can't Get Enough

I'm from the BX so I gotta thank you for this Rich. And even tho I'm tempted to tell the Koreans down the block to stop selling her blonde bangs I figure fuck it. Do you.

she's wack

what kind of cat is winston?

hypnotic

this was an analysis and celebration in one great post

i want to distribute this as a flyer

i dont know how much love remy gets in the streets or even on 106 & park but i for one think shes dope

kudos

Monica C.

You'd better WRITE.

Damn, you really have TALENT!

I have never even HEARD of Remy and may never hear one of her tracks, but I read every last word of your review because it is so well-written!

If it is not already, your work should definitely be published in someone's widely circulated newspaper. Kudos!

eliot

i like that she sideswiped us by naming the album (and shaping the album cover) after an undeniably caucasian sleeper hit from the nineties.

ezra

Wow, such an intelligent piece of writing... is someone paying this guy, please? I went to the Remy Ma album release party last night at club exit, and yes, I paid $25 to get in, hoping to get a glimpse of "that bitch" (her words). The party was a dud, maybe the VIP was fun, but I was not a VIP, the club was pretty empty.

Does Remy care about her gay fanbase? Probably not, does she care that i liked the CD so much that i bought 4 copies for friends... maybe? All I know is, her label screwed her, and she even called them out on it as she filled in for Miss Jones in the morning on HOT97 yesterday.

They released the first single "Whuteva", a great song, and a great video. The album was pushed back, the new date was advertised, then pushed back again, "Conceited" was released, with a much lower budget video. And the album dropped yesterday with no ads. I hope she does well, even if it takes another try.

My catchphrase has become "Remy Ma: The best Female rapper thats not in jail or deaf"

monica c really knows her stuff.
rich on a roll, we can't never get enuff.
white in the skin but we wish we was tuff.
music our viens keep it off the cuff.

Joshua

This post is fascinating and, being a huge fan of females in the industry (whether pop, rock, R&B or rap) something that flits into my mind quite often.

Here's my thinking - these female hip-hop acts were all basically reflecting their street counterparts at the time when they came out. The baggy, hard, "gangsta" look was what the round-the-way girls were all about in the late 80s and early 90s, and that's what these women at the forefront and in the media's eyes came out sporting. In the mid-90s on, glamor was what was in, more male rappers were flashing the bling, the fur coats, the tailored outfits, and subsequently, so did the female rappers. The older school females either modified their image to suit this new trend, or the new rappers came out looking like high-flying escort hos (Foxy, Kim, etc.)

Another factor I want to bring up is age. It's okay to be wearing the baggy clothing, the tough street clothing when you're a teen or in your early 20s, but once you're in your mid-20s, and you're a female, you're going to look pretty ridiculous strutting around in a baseball cap, baggy patched jeans and an oversized jersey (unless you are being ironic and tongue-in-cheek, the way Missy was [and still can be]).

Finally, one can argue that being in the media spotlight just "refines" one's look. Outside of the rap industry, look at other actors, country singers, TV stars, heck - news anchors, reality TV players - male and female - they all go through the style makebetters after getting the clout, the money, and the scrutiny. It, then, is not really a particular phenomenon strictly in the female rap game.

Cedric

God bless you for the pic of LYTE in "Cappuccino." I often wonder if i am the only one that remebers or ever heard that song. Which forced me to question if it were a real or a product of the after effects of post-grade school drug abuse.

Now I know it was not just a dream.

Thank YOu
You've completed me.

Cedric

Bill

Very good post, Rich.

Now you should tackle the homothug imagery in R&B and Hip-hop...

AKA the DMX post.

iv

Can't echo the kudos loud enough for this post and this site. I'd be embarassed about how into it I am if it wasn't so obvious that I'm not alone.

I guess I agree with Joshua and the last several posts that the the street look at the time these female artists came up plus the inevitable buff-and-polish that comes with life in the spotlight explains a lot of the evolution you're talking about. Damn, that '88 picture of MC Lyte just looks exactly like the kids on the subway looked in '88 tho, doesn't it?

Maybe you can do a follow-up piece, Rich, tracking the same idea but looking at the change in appearance in ads (and the change in products being endorsed). There was this awesomely ghetto ad for a black hair product featuring Destiny's Child circa 1998 on a billboard mounted to a crappy building over around 120th and Park, and it stayed up there, getting all faded and torn, even up to around "Bootylicious"-era DC. If I were smarter and more articulate, I'd say something insightful about capitalism driving all of this.

Mara

thoughtful post...are remy's singles getting played at least up north? i live in the bronx, but am in florida a lot and they play nothing down here but extremely mainstream pop, alternative, christian and country...with the occasional ghetto-ass bangers...(i actually miss hot97)

another problem is lack of promotion by the record companies; its as if they sign certain artists but don't bother to "back them" enough to make sure that they do even "ok"...makes no sense at all and is a waste of money on their part...

anyway, love the blog to death, even the project runway reviews!

Sexyma078

I mean speaking as a former tomboy that grew up in the same time as most of these artist like missy, tlc, xscape etc., at that time baggy was in not only have these artist grown up but fashion has change there was no sych thing as stretch jeans until like 98,99 so we wore what was in , but also at some point you become a women you see the feminity of yourself for years i only wore lipgloss not i have a make up bag the size of a suitcase i grew up i saw how the make up accented my features it became normal so i dont think its anything wrong with these artist evolving sexually we all did unfortunely, or fourtunetly we didn't have to do it in front of the world and be judged by idiots that think that their perfect---emphases on think their perfect cause if we were so content with our lives we wouldn't be so caught up in theirs. ALSO TO WHO EVER WROTE THIS YOU HAVE TO BE GAY OR WHITE BECAUSE SPANDEX LOOKS BEST ON LEGS LIKE REMY MA TAKE FOR INSTANCE LUDACRIS'S LINE FROM HIS FIRST CD 20" THIGHTS MAKE 20" EYES BABY THOSE LEGS ARE THE LEGS MEN WANT THAT WHY YOU SEE THE SISTAS GETTIN ALL THE WHITE BOYS LATELY CAUSE THEY WANT LEGS JUST LIKE REMYS WRAPPED AROUND THEIR HEAD!!!! NOW HOLLA BACK!!!!

Jenyce

I don't know if you heard Remy on Wendy Williams yesterday, but I was so impressed with her. She told it like it IS.

Foxy

When did she drop the "rtin"? I'm on the fence about Miss Remy - but since you, my love, are so gung-ho, I will check out songs besides the Terror Squad stuff and the singles.

But really...I've been overdosing on the old-school hip-hop lately, and I now realize that "Cha-Cha" is sorely missing from my playlist. So thanks for that.

erica

thanks rich. you made my day again. i'm not a big remy ma fan...i just can't get past her ridiculous look. but now i'm going to definintely cop her album as i definitely respect your opinion. we'll see what it brings...

bob

what a boring pile of shit that post was.
remy aint nothing but a dirty hood rat with a record contract. NO lyrical content what-so-ever and the only reason why she isnt trying to be sexy is because it couldnt happen no matter how much mac is piled on her ugly face.

youre really bad at critiquing supposed musicians and their image. so take it where back there. please.
check!

Kim

Great post Rich! I really enjoyed reading this.

lamorenaenkobe

This is a very well-written post. I haven't even bothered trying to listen to anything from Ms. Remy Ma due to her crazy ass appearance. But, now my interest has been piqued. Too bad, I'm in Japan now. Don't know if I can find her CD and if I am willing to pay the high ass price. But, I'll look into it.

The comments to this entry are closed.

BlogHer Ad Network


SAY Media

  • SAY Media

Blogads

  • Gay Blogads
  • Hollywood Blogads
  • Humor Blogads
Powered by TypePad