Rapper Young M.A has been making headlines this week, but it hasn’t been for her music.
Fellow emcee Kodak Black recently name-dropped her in a new track titled “Pimpin Ain’t Eazy,” and it includes homophobic slurs. The controversial lyrics have caused quite a stir, and Young M.A., who is openly gay, has even taken to social media to respond.
Want to learn more about Young M.A. Here are five quick facts about her.
She’s a New York native.
The songwriter was born Katorah Marrero on April 3, 1992, in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother is Jamaican and her father is Puerto Rican. She has one older brother who was reportedly killed in gang-related violence at age 20, according to a Fader interview. She was 17 when he died.
Her breakout single was “OOOUUU.”
Young M.A began rapping at age 9, developing her skills through her teenage years. She released two mixtapes, “M.A. The Mixtape” and “Sleep Walkin’”, in 2015 before releasing her smash hit “OOOUUU” the following year. The single went three times platinum and peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.
During a 2016 interview with Genius, the independent artist explained the roll out for the song.
“Something one day just told me that I needed to put this out—nobody told me, just one day I thought this would take me to the next level,” she said at the time. “I didn’t want some big push behind it, I was just like this is a record I just wanna put out. From there, I guess it was catchy and it was different from me.”
She’s been featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
In 2018, she made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list under the music category. She was recognized for “OOOUUU,” which helped her become the first solo female artist to appear on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart in 2016.
The star is openly gay.
Young M.A is a lesbian, which she often discusses in her music. In 2016, she told radio hosts at The Breakfast Club she knew she was gay around the first grade. Although she said she knew her mom would accept her sexuality, she was still afraid to tell her. To her surprise, her mom already knew.
“She used to try to get me to say,” Young M.A said of her mother during The Breakfast Club interview. “She’d be like, ‘If you like girls, you know you can tell me.’ She really knew when I went to gay pride one day, and she was like ‘Come on now.’”
She’s had a few controversial moments throughout her career.
In 2014, she gained notoriety when well-known author and social commentator Boyce Watkins criticized her song “Brooklyn Chiraq.” He said the tune promoted “violent, negative, genocidal energy.” After he posted his commentary, the track soon went viral.
“That’s what made it really go viral—everybody had their opinions on it,” Young M.A said in a 2016 Vogue article. “It basically woke up Young M.A.”
In 2019, she made headlines again when rapper Kodak Black mentioned her in his song “Pimpin’ Ain’t Eazy,” which includes anti-lesbian slurs.
Young M.A responded on Instagram Live, calling Kodak Black “weird.”
“I know I’m a female.... But at the end of the day, [expletive], that’s not my preference,” she said in the post.
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