Young M.A. (251708)
Credit: Cait Oppermann photo

Young M.A., a 25-year-old rap phenomenon whose official debut single, “OOOUUU,” put her on the map overnight in 2016, has returned with a new single. Known for her boastful rhymes and “proudly out” lyrical content, as she has publicly come out as a lesbian, M.A. released “Walk” earlier this week, and it has already racked up nearly 3 million views on The song is a bit more laid-back and confident, in more of a comfortable, mature manner than M.A.’s past work. The song is conversational and doesn’t have a traditional hook or bridge.

The new track was produced by DJ Burn One (Gucci Mane, A$AP Rocky) and 1Mine (French Montana) and gives you a glimpse into a more polished rapper, whose intentionally raw rhythm and cadence is different from much of what is being produced in mainstream hip-hop. “Walk” flaunts no autotune, and there’s no crew in her music video, as she went for a more solitary and stripped-down look to match the aura of the song.

It should be noted that the Brooklyn-born rapper began rapping at the age of 9 and became the first solo female rapper to hit the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart. She has not signed an official record deal, preferring to work on her career consciously. “Walk” reflects M.A.’s cautiousness about the people who hang around her and what people want from her, and she makes clear that she’s in control of her life, preferring to eat hot fries over gourmet food.

She’s definitely a young artist to watch. Her music has no pretenses. She’s an independent, out woman of whom Vogue Magazine wrote, “Though M.A. is rapping about her attraction to women in a genre that has a history of homophobia—in June, Kid Cudi tweeted that ‘the hip-hop community is the least outspoken about gay rights’—she says she did not fear any backlash. ‘I don’t care what people think,’ M.A, declares. ‘Not a care in the world.’”

Early in her career, M.A. was advised to rap in a “more feminine” way, but she left those associates behind. “The nerves was actually then,” she recalled. “I held in being sexually attracted to women for so long that once I got that out of me, the music became easy.”

It’s important to see young women in hip-hop expressing themselves and not conforming to certain formulas they are told they must follow to succeed in the business. M.A. is finding her own way and opening doors for diversity in hip-hop.