YouTube rapper Young M.A. is the flavor of the moment, thanks to her catchy independent rap song "Ooouuu" released on YouTube.com.
The 24-year-old Brooklyn native has a strong radio presence, and she's in a Beats By Dre ad, so ELLE magazine reached out to shoot a glossy magazine spread.
The openly lesbian rapper has social media to thank for her soaring popularity. But her mannish image and masculine demeanor means record labels aren't lining up to sign her.
In the ELLE magazine interview, Young M.A. reflects on the butch/Dom/AG image that defines her sexuality.
"Sometimes I question why I was born this way. I never wanted to wear skirts or shoes, makeup, nails, dresses, or even wear my hair a certain way," she said.
"I always wanted to wear sneakers, stud earrings, hair in a ponytail, and play with the boys. I never wanted to be a cheerleader, I wanted to play football. I always wanted to be the boy doll. I never understood it until I got older and realized this is just who I was meant to be and I am proud of who I am," she says, implying that her gender role is that of a stereotypical male.
Young M.A. was raised by her single mother. Her father was locked up when she was 1.
An older brother was shot and killed in 2009. "Somebody took his life and it was so random; it was so out of the blue," she says. "Only God knows, so I'm just trying to deal with it."