Young M.A

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Young M.A
Birth name Katorah Marrero
Born (1992-04-03) April 3, 1992 (age 26)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2012–present
Labels
  • M.A Music/3D
Website youngmamusic.com

Katorah Marrero (born April 3, 1992), better known by her stage name Young M.A,[1] is an American rapper and entrepreneur. The Brooklyn-bred rapper first gained notoriety with the release of the now triple-platinum 2016 hit single "Ooouuu"[2][3], breaking the Billboard Top 10, boasting 150,000 radio spins and 266 million YouTube views on the music video.

After the success of her debut single, Young M.A was nominated for BET and MTV Artist of the Year and Female Hip-Hop Artist of the Year awards; graced the covers of The Fader[4] and High Snobiety[5] magazines; has been featured in Vogue and The New York Times; recently sold out her North American tour with rapper 21 Savage; and even opened for Beyonce at MetLife Stadium. The rapper has been prominently featured in global ad campaigns for Google Pixel 2, Beats By Dre, and Pandora. She has also appeared on a variety of television shows, such as her performance alongside Alicia Keys on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

In 2018 Young M.A was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30. She has also received a proclamation[clarification needed] from New York City and has since launched the Kweens Foundation[6] with her mother, focusing on assisting single mothers and low-income families, as well as reaching out to parents who have lost their children to street violence.

Young M.A has explained that M.A stands for "Me Always". Fans and critics resonate with her unbridled authenticity, as she is transparent in her life, her sexuality, her mistakes, and her blessings.

Young M.A is slated to release her debut album, Herstory in the Making in Fall of 2018.

Early life[edit]

Young M.A was born on April 3, 1992, in Brooklyn, New York. She is of Puerto Rican and Jamaican descent. Her father was Puerto Rican and her mother is Jamaican. She began rapping at the age of 9 and further developed her talents over the next nine years, while she was residing in Virginia. She has never stayed in one place for long, moving to several cities in the South. At the age of 16, she moved back to Brooklyn.[7]

Career[edit]

Music[edit]

When she was a child, Young M.A already had a passion for music. As an adult her music career started. She self-funded a recording studio with local record producers while working at Shake Shack and T.J. Maxx.[8]

In 2014 she gained notoriety when a Facebook post criticized her song "Brooklyn Chiraq", a freestyle to Nicki Minaj and G Herbo "ChiRaq"; the song then went viral.[9] The post's author, pundit Boyce Watkins, said the song promoted "violent, negative, genocidal energy", but the controversy expanded Young M.A's name recognition and brought new listeners to her work.[7]

In 2015, Young M.A released a new song, called "Body Bag", which became a "YouTube hit", said Rolling Stone,[9] along with the release of her mixtape called Sleep Walkin', which MTV described as a "thoughtful debut project".[10]

In 2016, Young M.A released her official debut single, "Ooouuu",[8] which peaked at number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[11] In September 2016, the song had nearly 7 million plays on Spotify[12] and was widely remixed by other rappers and hip hop artists such as Nicki Minaj, French Montana, Remy Ma, Jadakiss, Uncle Murda, ASAP Ferg, Bryan Mathers and Tink, all of whom released their versions of the song.[7]

Stereogum's Tom Breihan said "Ooouuu" was "a brash, intense, hard-as-fuck piece of rider music... the song feels like it marks the arrival of a major rap talent."[13] The Fader said Young M.A has "establishe[d] herself as a quintessential New York MC",[14] and MTV's Doreen St. Félix said, "This summer, the atmosphere belongs to Young M.A and her single 'OOOUUU.'"[10] The song's popularity drew attention from labels, though M.A remains an independent artist.[15]

At the 2016 BET Hip Hop Awards, she performed a freestyle on a cypher and performed "Ooouuu", giving what XXL Magazine described as "show-stopping freestyle... one of the best freestyles of the night". Despite the enthusiasm for her performance, Young M.A expressed disappointment, saying BET cut out a portion of her performance.[16] Remy Ma featured M.A at Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2017, where she performed alongside other female rap greats. “There’s been a lot of opportunities, and of course a lot of money,” M.A says. “But then there’s the downside: you lose a lot of people that were once around you once their true colors start to show.”

While M.A has remained consistent since her debut single dropped, her debut album is anticipated to reveal a culmination of the artist’s experiences before and since the release of “OOOUUU”. Freestyles such as “Who Run It”[17] and “I Get The Bag”[18] have gained millions of online streams and views, along with her previous single, “Walk”[19], which has amassed over 20 million listens. M.A’s latest release is titled, “Praktice”[20], a reference to the idea that her previous releases have all led up to the full album, PettyWap is her latest single.

Other projects[edit]

In 2016, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Young M.A said she'd been offered the role of Freda Gatz (whose name was originally supposed to be Betty Bars, because the role was made especially for her) on Empire, but turned it down, preferring to pursue her own career as a rapper instead of being known first as a fictional character.[9] She even referenced being offered the role in her freestyle "Check",[21] rapping, "Shout out to Fox, trying to get me on that Empire, at first I had to turn it down, wasn't up to par, 'cause it's Young M.A b****, 'the f*** is Betty Bars?" Had Young M.A. accepted the offer to portray the role of Betty Bars she would be condemning herself to face the inevitable and often career fatal fate that awaits all entertainment artists that make a debut in the form of a hit tv series; a lifetime of trying to live down and separate herself (in the eyes of the viewers) from "Betty Bars". Young M.A. makes it clear that the only reason she turned down the offer was that she wanted to first establish her role as an "artist in the industry" and not as an "industry artist" (as Russ would call it) by making a name for herself through her music and gain recognition and ultimately solidify her presence in the entertainment industry.

In 2018, she directed her first movie which was a lesbian porn produced by Pornhub.

Philanthropy[edit]

Kweens Foundation[edit]

In the midst of prepping her album for a Fall 2018 release, M.A has also formed the Kweens Foundation. “It’s for women and for men—Kings and Queens…Kweens,” she says. “I got my mother involved because she sadly lost her son, my brother, in 2009 and this is something for her to get into and give her a little relief and meet other mothers who have been in that situation so they’re not alone.” Everything M.A achieves is autobiographical, right down to philanthropy. “No matter how much success you have in this life, you still go through those struggles and still go through that pain.”

Personal life[edit]

Young M.A is a lesbian,[22] a topic that she includes in her music. She told Vogue that coming out had been an important point in her artistic development, saying "I held in being sexually attracted to women for so long that once I got that out of me, the music became easy."[7] Young M.A. said in a YouTube video that not only was she proud of being different, but also proclaimed that it's not about who you are or what your sexual orientation is - it's about making music to bring people closer together and to feel the beat running through their skin.

Young M.A. knew she was gay at age 9 and admits she felt out of place. She played football and hung around guys a lot as a child and her mother would often try to get her to come out, but she would always deny it. She thought her mother wouldn't accept her if she came out. In an interview with 'The Breakfast Club' she said,[23]"I used to be scared to tell my moms... because I knew my moms wasn't the type of mother to be like 'Oh, I don't like you' or 'I'm gonna ignore you,' but part of me still was scared." She also said in an interview with Noisey Raps, "Since I came out officially, that's when all the girls flopped, that's when it was a wrap," she laughed. She also said people "feel her more" because she's more comfortable.

In September 2009, when Young M.A was 17, her older brother Kenneth was killed in gang-related violence in Pennsylvania; he was 20.[1] She fell into a deep depression after his death.[24]

Television appearances[edit]

Young M.A. appears regularly at the end of Vice News Tonight (on HBO) episodes critiquing many genres of music.

She has also appeared on the Wendy Williams Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Viceland's "The Therapist", Snoop Dogg's GGN, MTV's Ridiculousness, Hip Hop Squares, Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party, Wild 'n Out, Safeword (on MTV), and Total Request Live (TRL).

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

List of albums with selected details
Title Details Peak chart positions
US
[25]
Herstory In The Making TBD

EPs[edit]

List of extended plays with selected details
Title Details Peak chart positions
US
[26]
Herstory 166

Mixtapes[edit]

List of mixtapes, with selected details
Title Details
M.A The Mixtape
  • Released: March 15, 2015
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Sleep Walkin'
  • Released: November 4, 2015
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as a lead artist, with selected chart positions
Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US
[28]
US R&B/HH
[29]
US Rap
[30]
CAN
[31]
2015 "Body Bag" M.A The Mixtape
2016 "OOOUUU" 19 5 3 41 Herstory
"Hot Sauce" Herstory
2017 "Walk" Non-album single
2018 "Praktice" Non-album single
"PettyWap" Non-album single

As featured artist[edit]

Year Title Album
2015 "Murder Game"
Statik Selektah featuring Young M.A., Smif-N-Wessun & Buckshot)
Lucky 7
2016 "Hella Bars"
(C.A.S.H Montana featuring Young Neez and Young M.A)[33]
TBA
"Thot"
(Uncle Murda featuring Young M.A and Dios Moreno)[34]
"30"
(Project Pat featuring Young M.A, Coca Vango and Big Trill)[35]
"Spend It (Remix)"
(Dae Dae featuring Young Thug and Young M.A)[36]
N/A
2017 "F.B.G.M."
T-Pain featuring Young M.A)
TBA
"Pump Fakin"
Pras featuring Young M.A)
Wave Culture

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Nominated work Result
2017 BET Awards Best New Artist Nominated
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist Nominated
A2IM Libera Awards Breakthrough Artist "OOOUUU" Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best New Artist OOOUUU Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Shepherd, Julianne Escobedo (February 7, 2017). "Young M.A Still Isn't Compromising". The Fader. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  2. ^ Young M.A Was Once Lost But Has Now Found Her Way in Hip-Hop – XXL. Xxlmag.com (October 18, 2016). Retrieved on November 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Young M.A. Talks Success of 'OOOUUU' & Opening Up for Beyonce. Billboard (October 17, 2016). Retrieved on November 7, 2016.
  4. ^ Shepherd, Julianne Escobedo. "Young M.A Still Isn't Compromising". The Fader. The Fader Inc. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  5. ^ Smith-Strickland, Stephanie. ""Pretty But Loco": Young M.A's Uncompromising Path to Success". High Snobiety. High Snobiety. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  6. ^ Moynihan, McShane, Ellen, Larry. "Rapper Young M.A. hosts Mother's Day brunch for families who lost loved ones to street violence". Ny Daily News. NY Daily News. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c d Leight, Elias (October 30, 2016). "How Young M.A Became the Hottest Rapper in Town". Vogue. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon Pareles, Jon; Chinen, Nate (August 26, 2016). "The Playlist: Thundercat Unplugs, Young M.A. Gets Remixed". The New York Times. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c Reeves, Mosi (September 27, 2016). "Young M.A: "OOOUUU" Star on Why She Turned Down 'Empire' Role". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b St. Félix, Doreen (August 17, 2016). "Young M.A: A Vibe Grows In Brooklyn". MTV News. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  11. ^ Krishnamurthy, Sowmya (October 17, 2016). "Young M.A. on 'OOOUUU,' Destroying Female Stereotypes & Opening Up for Beyonce: 'I Always Knew I Would be a Star Someday'". Billboard. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  12. ^ Iandoli, Kathy (September 11, 2016). "5 Rising Rappers Who Are Busting Up Hip-Hop's Boys' Club". Billboard. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ Breihan, Tom (September 21, 2016). "Young M.A Is A Bully And A Boss". Stereogum. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  14. ^ Mayard, Judick (August 25, 2016). "Meet Young M.A, The Brooklyn Rapper Who Owned The Summer". The Fader. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  15. ^ Robehmed, Natalie (March 27, 2017). "Why Rapper Young M.A Is Not Signing A Record Deal--For Now". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-13. 
  16. ^ Berry, Peter A. (October 7, 2016). "Young M.A Cops Crazy New Audi – XXL". XXL Magazine. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  17. ^ Ch, Devin. "Young M.A Right On Track With "Who Run It" Freestyle". HotNewHipHop. Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  18. ^ India, Lindsey. "YOUNG M.A DROPS "I GET THE BAG FREESTYLE" VIDEO". XXLMAG. XXL Magazine. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  19. ^ Corry, Kristin. "Young M.A "Walk"". Pitchfork. Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  20. ^ Helman, Peter. "Young M.A – "Praktice"". Stereogum. Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  21. ^ Young M.A "Check" Freestyle Music Video - YouTube
  22. ^ "Watch Young M.A. Discuss Relationships and Fake Lesbians on Her Old YouTube Channel". 
  23. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FifVR6dwhD4
  24. ^ http://www.thefader.com/2017/02/07/young-ma-cover-story-interview
  25. ^ "Young M.A. – Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Young M.A. – Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Herstory – EP by Young M.A". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Young M.A. – Chart History: Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  29. ^ "Young M.A. – Chart History: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Young M.A. – Chart History: Hot Rap Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Young M.A. – Chart History: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  32. ^ "American single certifications – Young M.A – OOOUUU". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 30, 2017.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  33. ^ "Hella Barz (feat. Young Neez & Young M.A.) – Single by C.a.$.H. Montana on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved June 30, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Thot (feat. Young MA & Dios Moreno) – Single by Uncle Murda on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved June 30, 2016. 
  35. ^ "30 (feat. Young M.A, Coca Vango & Big Trill) – Single by Project Pat on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved June 30, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Spend It (feat. Young Thug & Young M.A) [Remix] – Single by Dae Dae on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved December 9, 2016.