Young M.A. first gained popularity when her song "BROOKLYN" (Chiraq Freestyle) was released in 2014 and her song "OOOUUU" from the summer of 2016 has reached over seventy million views on YouTube. As this recent article pointed out, when listening to her lyrics for the first time two things will likely jump out to you as the listener: that she is woman rapping about other women. For example, the music video for her song "Summer Story" depicts scenes of Young M.A. singing while holding on to another woman, and the song itself contains lyrics such as:
I’ma ride for my bitch, do or die for my bitch
Fucked around a few times on my bitch, woah
She said I don’t have no loyalty
Just cause the pussy just be calling me
And she don’t think I love her even when I say I love her
These lyrics also show how Young M.A.'s music does not depart from the objectification of women, violence, and the hustle that other street rappers are known for. For this she has not escaped from criticism, most notably from a social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins who said in a Facebook post the he wonders "what kind of trauma has this society imposed on this poor child to make her think this is normal behavior?" and that he "would encourage her to use her talent in a way that will empower her". Yes, Young M.A. has undoubtedly suffered trauma that informs her song lyrics, but who are we to say that her music as it is now isn't empowering for her? And empowering other queer women of color who do not see themselves represented in rap?
In an interview with The BoomBox Young M.A. told the interviewer how when she first started out in the music industry she tried to be more feminine because of "how the game was, there was no dyking, none of that". Unhappy being told to be someone she wasn't, Young M.A. left the music industry until the passing of her brother, when she used music as a coping mechanism, and this time rapping and representing herself the way she wanted. Staying genuine to who she is has not come without scrutiny and hatred from the public, and she says that people often comment "What is this he-she?" In fact, while googling her upcoming album, google showed people also asked "Is Young M.A. a girl?" In the face of criticism and the weight of being an out lesbian rapper in the industry, Young M.A. brushes negative comments off, to her "its like a splinter, it doesn't affect [her] at all."
Young M.A. finds her self in the company of other queer female hip-hop artists who are breaking out on the scene, and providing a new voice in music. While her music may perpetuate the violence and objectification of women that hip-hop and rap has been criticized for, it cannot be denied that she is pushing the boundaries of rap music. Young M.A. describes sex and relationships from a queer women's perspective, and represents herself as a strong woman that does not conform to the music industry's presumption of how a woman should dress or act. Her next album that is slated to drop is fittingly titled Herstory, and will hopefully give us a deeper look into Young M.A.'s life and the unique voice she brings to rap.