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|Birth name||Katorah Marrero|
April 3, 1992 |
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
M.A. MusicDuck Down Music/Fontana
Young M.A was born on April 3, 1992, in Brooklyn, New York. She is of Puerto Rican 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"; 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 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****, f*** it's Betty Bars."
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." She also had a YouTube channel "Kat Kasanova" that discussed topics about relationships and lesbians.
She 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. Her mother would often try to get her to come out, but she would always deny it. She thought she wouldn't be accepted by her mother when she came out. She said in an interview with The Breakfast Club,"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.
|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)
|3.||"OOOUUU Remix" (feat. 50 Cent)||N/A||4.36||Spotify|
|4.||"Body Bag"||M.A The Mixtape||3.59||Spotify|
|As of August 19, 2017|
|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|