Katorah Marrero, popularly known by her pseudo name Young M.A, is an American lyricist, buzzing rapper and YouTube star. She started rapping at a corner store of Brooklyn at the age of 9. Young M.A was offered a character role as Freda Gatz in the American drama series ‘Empire’ but she decline the offer as she wanted to pursue her career as a rapper. M.A is famous in the music industry for her hit single ‘Ooouuu’ and ‘Hot Sauce’ which have adult video and lyric content. Young specializes in Underground Rap and Hardcore Rap genre of music. She has been appreciated by rapper 50 Cent who stated in his Instagram account that ‘M.A’s music was real Tuff’. Young was honoured as the Forbes ‘Hip-Hop Cash Princes’ of 2017 for her outstanding lyrics and rapping style. M.A from her childhood was attracted to girls but she came out public about being a lesbian when she was 18 years of age. Since then, she has often addressed ‘the lesbian topic’ positively through rap music and has been able to break some taboos.
Childhood & Early Life
Young M.A was born Katorah Marrero on 3rd April, 1992 in East New York which is a residential neighbourhood in the eastern section of Brooklyn borough in New York City.
Her father was sentenced to jail when she was just one, and he remained in jail until she was eleven years old. Her mother played a major role in her children’s upbringing. When M.A was 7-years-old, her mother Latifa decided to relocate to Chesterfield, Virginia as it provided better school facilities and also her children would remain away from the violence of East New York.
M.A started to write her rhymes in her schoolbooks which she would later rap in 2001 when she was just 9. Her mother encouraged her purchasing her a karaoke machine which M.A used to set up as a temporary studio in her closet.
Young’s mother mostly played reggae and hip-hop music in the house and thus, M.A developed an inclination towards the genre which helped her establish musical career. Her mother and uncle used to frequently rap but they never pursued rapping as a career.
M.A mostly scored high grades in school and also joined the football team. She was tomboyish from childhood and loved to play basketball and football. As she loved the Air-Jordan brand of basketball clothing and athletic footwear, her mother always bought her the latest shoes from the brand.
She became the leader of a local rap group named ‘Moneymakers’ while residing in Virginia.
M.A and her family relocated to Brooklyn when she was 16 years old. Tragedy struck her family in 2009 when she lost her elder brother. Her brother was killed in a gang-violence in Pennsylvania. Thereafter, she went through a phase of depression and went for three sessions of treatment and also took a break from her music. She has stated that her brother was a father figure to her.
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Career & Later Life
Young M.A after completing her high school started to work at TJ Maxx, an American department store, and Shake Shack, a New York restaurant chain. She continued to make music by self-providing the money for a recording studio with local music producers.
In 2014, a controversy arose when American author Dr. Boyce Watkins through his Facebook post criticised her song titled ‘Brooklyn (Chiraq freestyle)’ which had gone viral stating that her lyrics glorified violence, black racial killing and evoked a sense of negativity. However, this incident actually made her more famous as people rushed to hear her Chiraq song. As of 2017, this song has received more than 9 million views on her YouTube account.
M.A released her debut mix tape titled ‘M.A The Mix Tape’ on 15th March 2015. It included songs like ‘Body Bag’, ‘Girlfriend’, ‘Henny Dance’ and ‘Intro-YOUNG M.A’. This song streamed 3.35 million times on Spotify. This mix tape received over 140 thousand listeners and was downloaded more than 48 thousand times and earned Bronze status from DatPiff (online mix-tape distribution platform).
Young M.A released her second mix-tape titled ‘Sleep Walking’ on 4th November 2015. This mix-tape included songs like ‘Quiet Storm’, ‘Get This Money’, ‘Dear Bro’ and ‘Brooklyn Poppin’ and it got Silver status from DatPiff. The song ‘Dear Bro’ is about her coping with the psychological trauma from the demise of her brother. Her ‘Quiet Storm’ song talks about breaking stereotypes about women set by society. MTV praised her mix-tape stating it to be a ‘thoughtful project’.
On 12th May 2016, she released her epic official debut single titled ‘Ooouuu’ which received more than 66 million views on YouTube. This single was produced by UDub of NY Bangers fame and it reached 19th position on US Billboard Hot 100 chart. By September, this song had been streamed around 7 million times on Spotify. This single received double Platinum certification from Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2017.
Next, M.A released her third EP titled ‘Herstory’ on 27th April, 2017 under her own M.A. music label. This EP includes songs like ‘MA intro’, ‘Hot Sauce’, ‘JOOTD-- in collaboration with Monica’. The song ‘Self M.Ade’ of this album received more than 1.5 million views as of June 2017 on YouTube.
She featured on Fader magazine in 2017 where she stated that she was thinking on bringing up an album very soon.
M.A has been uploading her official music videos on her YouTube account and at present she has 1 million subscribers in it and around 2.3 million followers on her Instagram and 121 thousand followers in her Twitter accounts respectively as of 2017.
She has also collaborated with other rappers like C.A.S.H, Dae Dae and Young Thug and some of the collaboration hits are ‘Murder of Game’, ‘Hella Bars’, ‘Thot’ etc.
M.A has featured on many TV programs like ‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Falcon (2016)’, ‘The Wendy Williams Show (2016)’, ‘Verified (2016)’ and MTV Woodies (2017)’.
She went on a musical world tour called the ‘Issa Tour’ with hip-hop star 21 Savage from 31st March, 2017 beginning at Texas House of Blues and she is to cover San Francisco,Los Angeles, Portland, Minneapolis and Anaheim.
Personal Life & Legacy
Young M.A is at present unmarried. She has confirmed herself to be a lesbian. In 2016, it was rumored that she was having a relationship with Tori Brixx who is a model but nothing has been confirmed. They werefound getting cozy in a Snapchat video post where M.A was giving the model a peck on her cheek and also kissing on her lips.
Young M.A’s estimated net-worth as of 2017 is $ 1 million all from her rapping performances, her song-streamings and from advertisements and subscriptions on her YouTube account.
Her name has a significant relevance as M.A is an abbreviation of ‘Me, Always’ and she wants to send a message to young people to always believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.
M.A’s brother belonged to the Bloods gang and this was the inspiration to her RedLyfe label, but she states that in no way is she affiliated with the gang and that ‘RED’ is a short form for Repent Everyday Life.