One of hip-hop’s biggest new stars only released her hit single, “OOOUUU,” five months ago but she’s already heading to the top of the charts. By way of Brooklyn, New York, Young M.A. isn’t just one of the best female rappers out now, she’s better than a lot of the males rapping today. Before she gets her break on a major label, here are six things to know about her:
1. 50 Cent Is Her Major Influence
Ask Young M.A. about her influences and the answer is always 50 Cent. According to Young M.A., it was 50 Cent’s “Wanksta” record that caught her attention but it was his song “Many Men” that inspired her to rap. Young M.A.’s love for 50 Cent ran so deep, she even admitted to once posting on Facebook, “Anyone who has beef with 50 Cent, has beef with me.”
2. She Knew She Was Gay In First Grade
It was at a very young age that Young M.A. realized she liked girls. According to the rapper, she started becoming aware of her preferences in the first grade. During an interview with The Breakfast Club, Young M.A. said she was always a tomboy and even played tackle football with boys. But while Young M.A. is all about being herself, she doesn’t just want to be known as a gay rapper. “We are all people… don’t label me as an LGBT rapper or a female rapper… I don’t like to be labeled… I know I'm a d---,” she told Angie Martinez.
3. She’s Still Unsigned
With a single that has gone to No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, you would think Young M.A. would be signed to a record label but like many of the new rappers today, Young M.A. is fully independent. In an interview with DJ Clue of Power 105, the rapper said she has been in talks with LA Reid, RCA Records and Atlantic but hasn’t decided on a label yet.
4. She Turned Down A Role On Empire
The “Empire” character Freda Gatz would have been known as Betty Bars if Young M.A. accepted the role. According to Young M.A. she had a meeting with show creator Lee Daniels and the character would have been based on her. “They was trying to put me in the show instead of just having me as a special guest or anything like that,” she told Rolling Stone. “I wasn't comfortable because I was working so hard before that, and just to jump into something so fast because it seemed like a great opportunity at the time, it didn't make sense on what I was trying to do.”
5. She’s Had Her Run-Ins With The “Hip-Hop Police”
Nearly 10 years ago, it was revealed that the New York Police Department had a task force created to monitor rappers in New York. Like any popular New York City rapper, Young M.A. has said that she has noticed the group’s presence at her shows, but she isn’t worried. “There was this one guy who I'd always see at a lot of shows that I was booked at. He was always there. I started to see him a lot more often once the record started getting popular. But I'm not worried about it because we move smart.”
6. She Got The Beyoncé Co-Sign
In September, celebrating her 35th birthday, Beyoncé posted a video on Instagram thanking her family, friends and fans and used “OOOUUU” in the background of the video. The next month, at the final stop of Beyoncé’s Formation tour, Young M.A. got to open up for the pop star. “Seeing the amount of people in the crowd singing my song, I was mesmerized by it,” she told Billboard.