Many people hadn’t heard of rapper Young M.A. until this summer when her song, “OOOUUU”, started to receive massive airplay and seemingly blew up overnight. In three months, the song has reached over 4.5 million views on YouTube. The song has been compared to Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Nigga”; it’s almost reminiscent of the anthem that dominated music two years ago. But, who is Young M.A., really?
Young M.A was born and raised in Brooklyn. In an interview with Peter Rosenberg, she states that she has been rapping since she was nine years old. It took a long time for her to develop into the artist that she is today – clad in tattoos and braided hair. 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was her introduction to hip-hop and it shows. She is grimey and has more bravado and swag than half of the male artists coming up. Notably, she made a pitch to be on the 2016 XXL cover and was not chosen. XXL has to be salty about that at this point, because Young M.A is definitely on her way to becoming not only the next big artist to come out of New York, but one of the hottest rappers in the game.
You would think that Young M.A would just mirror the typical style of today’s artists, trap beats and simple rhythms. But, what sets Young M.A apart is that she can actually flow. She has bars and is able to string together similes and metaphors over various beats. Think Dreamchasers Meek Mill – devoid of all the yelling that Meek does. Her 2015 mixtape, Sleep Walkin has several covers and original songs over beats ranging from Nas’s “Ether” to Meek Mill’s “Check”. She tells real stories, speaks about real things, and is really about the life that she raps about. It is amazing and such a rare site in today’s rap game.
Also, another important part of her persona is that she is not afraid to hide that she is part of the LGBTQ community and represents it proudly. She speaks about being confused and people telling her that she would have to hide who she is in order to succeed in the rap game. But, she felt no need to and it is great. People will obviously talk about her and how degrading it is that a woman would want to purport such a lifestyle. But, fuck em’. She is dope and is running rap circles around these guys. Maybe this will inspire some openness within the hip-hop community, where homophobia can still be an issue at times.
Young M.A still has some room to develop and grow, but she is already off to an excellent start. “OOOUUU” is still blowing up and she just released another track, “Summer Story”, which is sure to become an anthem. The video is directed by A Piece By Guy and the video looks like what a Brooklyn summer used to be. This song feels like home and reminds us that Brooklyn is still around. Props to Young M.A for holding the city down.