- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 18 November 2016
- Written by JENNIFER MURPHY | STAFF WRITER
The 24-year-old, Brooklyn native started self-producing her music back in 2014, writing her own lyrics, creating her own beats, and receiving help from friends to mix the track. In 2014 she released “BROOKLYN (Chiraq Freestyle)” featuring Rell & La Danger (RedLyfe) via her Sound Cloud profile. In 2015, she began to earn a following within the New York music world and also gained a presence on social media when she released her mixtape Sleep Walkin. The mixtape features 10 tracks with upbeat raps such as the highly emotional track, “Through The Day,” which is a personal track which talks about the murder of her older brother; his murder took place in September of 2009. This past May, she released her debut single “OOOUUU.” Since its release, “OOOUUU” has rocketed from a Brooklyn street anthem to number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 list.
The artist’s first single spread like wildfire, ultimately becoming the song of the summer. It has caught the attention of hip hop’s finest, considering the song has been remixed by some of hip-hop’s most popular, including A$AP Ferg, French Montana, Jadakiss, and 50 Cent.
With influence from my parents, who constantly played “Naughty by Nature” while we were in the car, I grew up listening to hip-hop and knew of female rappers from all eras. Lil’ Kim, Da Brat, Salt N Pepa, Missy Elliot, and Queen Latifah were huge names who were very successful during their time. However, since the early 2000s, we haven’t seen a large female presence in hip-hop. There have definitely been a few female artists who have made a name for themselves within the hip-hop world of today such as Nicki Minaj, Remy Ma, and Cardi B, but we haven’t seen a tough bar like this since Lil Kim’s era. Young MA is arguably the fourth addition to the list of female rappers; this truly highlights how small of a presence women in hip-hop have, considering there’s about four of them.
“She’s becoming a face for New York hip-hop and it’s really cool to see the east coast sound develop, especially as a female artist which rap really doesn’t have much of. I listen to her tracks and I think wow that’s so good, and not for a female, that’s just really good music period,” said Joe Lozito, an advent rap listener and senior student.
Being that there is such a little female representation in the hip-hop world, young MA’s come up is huge. She has also become an icon for the LGBT community, being that she open about her sexuality especially within her music. Elle‘s interview with Young M.A. from October emphasizes what it was like for her to go through these experiences at such a young age.
In the interview, Young MA said, “I always wanted to wear sneakers, stud earrings, hair in a ponytail, and play with the boys. I never wanted to be a cheerleader, I wanted to play football. I always wanted to be the boy doll. I never understood it until I got older and realized this is just who I was meant to be and I am proud of who I am.” She since has been very open about being gay, and how it has affected her life.
What does this do for women? Although some would choose not to admit, hip-hop is extremely influential within society. Having this type of strong female presence helps break down female stereotypes not just within the hip-hop culture, but the world itself. It shows listeners that women are just are talented, if not, better. Having Young MA as a leader for “fem-rap” stops other female rappers from being ignored. Seeing such a popular and influential female rapper is definitely a breakthrough for hip-hop because her presence is breaking down female stereotypes within the hip-hop world. A growing female presence challenges hip hops male dominated norms. A female, openly gay rapper – how awesome is that? Artists like Young MA are giving hip-hop a new set of rules.
image taken from elle.com