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|Birth name||Katorah Marrero|
April 3, 1992 |
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
Young M.A was born on April 3, 1992, in Brooklyn, New York. She is of Puerto Rican and Jamaican ancestry. 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.
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.
In 2014 she gained notoriety when a Facebook post criticized her song "Brooklyn Chiraq", a freestyle to Nicki Minaj and Lil Herb "ChiRaq"; the song then went viral. 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.
In 2015, Young M.A released a new song, called "Body Bag", which became a "YouTube hit", said Rolling Stone, along with the release of her mixtape called Sleep Walkin', which MTV described as a "thoughtful debut project".
In 2016, Young M.A released her official debut single, "Ooouuu", which peaked at number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In September 2016, the song had nearly 7 million plays on Spotify 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 were putting out their versions of the song.
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." The Fader said Young M.A has "establishe[d] herself as a quintessential New York MC", and MTV's Doreen St. Félix said, "This summer, the atmosphere belongs to Young M.A and her single 'OOOUUU.'" The song's popularity drew attention from labels, though M.A remains an independent artist.
At the 2016 BET Hip Hop Awards, she did 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.
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. She even referenced being offered the role in her freestyle "Check", 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: a lesbian porn produced by Pornhub.
Young M.A is a lesbian, 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." 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,"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.
Young M.A. appears regularly at the end of Vice News Tonight (on HBO) episodes critiquing many genres of music.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|M.A The Mixtape||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|"Body Bag"||2015||—||—||—||—||M.A The Mixtape|
Statik Selektah featuring Young M.A., Smif-N-Wessun & Buckshot)
(C.A.S.H Montana featuring Young Neez and Young M.A)
(Uncle Murda featuring Young M.A and Dios Moreno)
(Project Pat featuring Young M.A, Coca Vango and Big Trill)
|"Spend It (Remix)"
(Dae Dae featuring Young Thug and Young M.A)
T-Pain featuring Young M.A)
Pras featuring Young M.A)
|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|