Introducing: Young M.A

Brooklyn rapper Young M.A has been rapping since she was nine years old and she’s got the effortless flow to prove it.

Her first ever single OOOUUU dropped earlier this year and skyrocketed to the top end of the Billboard Hottest 100 seemingly overnight. It received the remix treatment from Nicky Minaj, The Game and the person she cites as her biggest influence, 50 Cent. Her latest single, Quiet Storm came out earlier this month and has already hit two million views on YouTube. Safe to say, she knows what she’s doing and where she’s going. Though the two singles follow different themes -the first about being single for the summer, the second dealing with the death of her brother and coming for everyone in the game (and you know she is)- the common thread is an undeniable confidence in her music and herself.

She draws from her life experiences or from the people around her. What she seems to have over just about everyone else right now is an tangible sense of authenticity – she’s not shy of actually being real with her words. Whether it’s talking about the death of her brother or being open about her sexuality, she refuses to be to pretend she’s anyone other than exactly who she is and it comes across not only in her music, but the way she talks about it.

“I just feel like being realistic is so underrated, like people are scared to be real…I don’t mind talking about me driving in a Hyundai. I ain’t got a million dollars… I know it’s a lotta people out there that’s in that position with me and they’ll listen and relate to it. There’s more people in that position than there is in the higher position. When I start getting Lambos and Benzes and stuff, then I’ma talk about it.”

Over the past 12 months or so, Young M.A has had a string of recognition come her way. She received a shout out from Beyoncé in an Instagram post last month, is featured in the new star-studded Beats by Dr. Dre ad, and was almost cast in the hit FOX show Empire as Betty Bars instead of Bre-z‘s character Freda Gatz before turning down the role to focus on her own music. She’s currently independent, (she knows her worth and isn’t going to settle for less than what she wants from a deal), and you better believe this is only the the very beginning for one of Brooklyn’s finest.

Image: theFADER