Remy Ma Responds To Nas’ Open Letter & Defends Men Who Are Involved Fathers (Video)
During the debut episode of Joe Budden’s Revolt show State Of The Culture, he and his co-hosts, Remy Ma, Jinx, and Scottie Beam discuss the last week in Hip-Hop. From the passing of Mac Miller to Cardi B’s confrontation-turned-altercation with Nicki Minaj, it has been an eventful week, to say the least. However, even Joe being part of the overall narrative (thanks to a diss from Eminem and Budden’s response) may not be as resonant as the panel’s take on mental health and custody battles.
At 33:00, the quartet weighs in on Nas’ seven-Instagram-post letter to ex-wife and child’s mother, Kelis. Last week, the MC disputed public accusations that he physically and mentally abused his ex, adding that she was the one guilty of those things—even recently. “I think it’s messy. As someone who has gone through a similar situation, it’s rough. It’s ugly,” says Joe Budden. What I was feeling when I was in that situation—when I had a child with a woman I wasn’t necessarily on the same page with. [The way that] I felt afterwards, when my son’s 17 years old, is very different,” admits the artist who was called out in a Rap song by his teenage son this March. “For me, I really despised my child’s mother coming up because I wasn’t as able to be as involved as I would have liked to have been. Years later, I was really thankful that that was the case. Like, I was extremely grateful that my child’s mom was able to hold it down while I toured the world. In our hearts, we want to be there. But even in that long soliloquy that Nas wrote, when he said, ‘I want to be involved. I want to be involved; you only let me see my kid once a month.’ I mean, as someone who’s been there, I don’t know how active or how involved Nas would have been,” Budden states.
Remy, who is the mother of a son on his way to college, has a different take. She believes in the good intentions of men who are in Nas’ shoes. “Let me tell you something: I’ve seen some evil, bitter b*tches that keep their kids away from the father. Now the thing that people don’t understand is the only fathers that really have these issues [are] the fathers that care.” She suggests that Nas’ heated letter shows how affected he is. “You can’t piss a guy off that doesn’t give a f*ck about your kid…the only fathers that actually go through this sh*t [are] the fathers that are there, that do sh*t for [their children], that want to see their kids, that want to be in their kids’ lives, and the b*tches be mad, ’cause the dude not with them no more.”
Although Scottie says that Nas is not who she is referring to, she mentions some absentee parents that use Instagram as a tool for drama and garnering pity. She adds that the illustration applies to her father. Remy interjects that children can often be manipulated by the parent that has more custody. This can shape their perceptions of the parent that they see less. She speaks from experience. “I grew up not knowing my biological father. When I got older, it made sense to me why he didn’t come around. Every time he came around, the new guy—who I was raised [to think was] my father…there was a shootout, there was a stabbing. It got to the point where [my biological father] decided that ‘if I gotta risk my life or my freedom to see my kid, I’ma just fall back.’ When I got older, I started to see that my mom was mad ’cause my father had a baby by a b*tch down the block [and they had a nasty relationship because of it].” Remy suggests that her mother’s hurt put the rapper’s father in a situation where he could not see his daughter.
Joe looks at his upbringing too. He responds by crediting his mother’s care in portraying and defending his absentee father. “To Remy’s point [about] the angry women, they never really have the child’s best interests at heart. So if I’m to read what Nas [wrote], who’s really hurting here?” Jinx and Scottie answer “the kid,” referring to Nas and Kelis’ son, Knight. Moments later, Remy explains why she disagrees. “Not really, because if you are the father that actually cares about your child and you want to be in your child’s life, and you’re being prevented from doing that, that hurts that man. Yes, also as the child—when you’re a child—I don’t really know too many children that hate either of their parents,” she says, claiming that she knows abused children who still love the parents that have abused them. “The same thing for Kelis: until she lets go of that hurt and lets go of what he would do, it’s gonna keep goin’ on and on. They’ve been divorced for years. It’s hurting her too.” Remy says that Nas’ ex is proving that she is holding onto pain, whether her serious allegations of abuse are true or not
A few moments later, the panel addresses another issue with some differences of opinion. They discuss Kanye West’s mental health following a tearful radio interview where the rapper apologized for some controversial remarks he has made in the past.
At the 49:40 mark, Joe offers his take. “The only reason why we have to be a bit more cognizant of everything that Kanye is doing is because this also plays into mental health as well.”
Scottie Beam agrees but notices Remy Ma contemptuously rolling her eyes. Beam then asks Remy why she disagrees with Budden. “Because every Black man I know that comes from the ghetto, that comes from poor has mental health issues,” the Bronx, New York MC asserts.
As Jinx and Scottie Beam back Budden’s statement, Remy supports her claim, “If you grow up, and your f*cking family members and your friends are all from a broken home [you are suffering from mental health issues]. But that’s not an excuse when [they] out here locking’ ni**as up and doing all types of sh*t, no one’s like ‘Oh my God, that guy, he grew up so wrong. He has mental health issues.’ It’s because it’s Kanye, and we know him; this ni**a is caked the f*ck up. He’s got mental health issues, that’s why he’s talking like that. I know ni**as that stand on the block all day, every day, and all them ni**as need a prescription. Nobody’s feeling sorry for them. I don’t want to hear this, ‘Oh, he has a mental health issue, and he has a problem. Every ni**a I know from the hood has mental health issues, and nobody’s doing nothing about it.” Remy believes Kanye’s profile and wealth elicit a sympathy that does not exist for the everyday person of color. The MC asserts that she is not accepting it as an excuse for questionable actions by wealthy people with platforms like Kanye West, and then doubles down on her statement that people mental health issues are “treated like criminals” and “walking about like zombies medicated in prison.”
Scottie Beam adds gravitas to Remy’s opinion, saying there is a need to treat all Black males’ and Kanye West’s mental health issues equally, not in consideration of their socioeconomic status.
State Of The Culture lives up to its name after its first episode.
Additional Reporting by Jake Paine.