The NBA All-Star game brought the party to Los Angeles over the weekend as sports figures, brands and celebrities converged at venues all over town ahead of the Sunday night tip-off at Staples Center.
That afternoon, rapper Remy Ma hosted what was billed as a women’s empowerment brunch. Held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, the Guillotine Vodka-sponsored event drew executives from Sony/ATV Music Publishing as well as buzzed-about newcomer Saweetie (pictured above, with Ma), rapper Fat Joe, Keisha Knight Pulliam, and others.
Ma recently joined the roster of Columbia Records and says she couldn’t be happier at her new label home. “I’ve been doing this since I was in high school and it’s a rough business,” she told Variety. “I’ve had recording contracts at major labels and I’ve also been independent before and I get to finally have the perks of a major with independence. The people at Columbia who work on my project care about it as much as I do — it maybe even more.”
The timing for a Ma moment couldn’t be better. With the release of a stunning new video for the track “Melanin Magic” and the momentum of female rappers like Cardi B, the pendulum may be swinging away from a genre overwhelmingly dominated by men. Said Ma: “A change has come. There’s always been a lot of female rappers that had talent. They just weren’t being promoted or taken seriously or given an opportunity. For so long, it’s been the same thing over and over and over.”
The Bronx native, who recently served six years in prison, added that upon her release in 2014, she resolved to “open the door and not close it behind me.” Today, Ma encourages collaboration and friendship rather than feuds, which have tainted the genre and with which Ma has personal experience. Without naming names, said Ma: “There’s strength in numbers. So If I’m doing good, and this girl here is doing good, people will take it more seriously. … We all bring something different to the table, and once people realize that, stop fighting each other, work together and help build each other up, we’ll grow even more.”