Young M.A’s spot in New York City’s storied rap history isn’t up for debate. Song after song, moment after moment, she’s proven herself. The Brooklyn rapper speaks to XXL about her elevation into other industries with her new NFT collection, the King of New York debate and women in hip-hop.
Nearly one decade ago, M.A came into the game blazing with “Brooklyn (Chiraq Freestyle),” a flip of Nicki Minaj and G Herbo’s drill classic “Chiraq.” She went viral on Facebook and SoundCloud, and New York news station NY1 picked it up and gave the Brooklyn native a major media cosign. Soon after, she had hits like multiplatinum “OOOUUU” and the gold-selling “PettyWap”—two festive anthems that exhibit her knack for flexing and chin-checking without mercy. These are just a few of the moments that make up her new NFT capsule, created in collaboration with NFT marketplace Serenade, to celebrate the depths of her career so far in the rap game.
“This ain’t just us trying to deliver some cute shit to y’all. Nah, we’re trying to show y’all the dying love and how everything just came about from the very get-go,” M.A tells XXL about the reason she dove into the NFT space. Forever keeping her fans in mind, exclusivity and value of having only 250 pieces available are important to her. “I just want them to feel like they got something of me that they can keep of me forever. It’s like comparing it to a baseball card. The most exclusive baseball card that nobody has. Once you got it, you can hold onto it and the value [increases] every year as you go.”
The capsule, comprised of five collectibles that also includes “OOOUUU,” a tribute to her debut album, Herstory in the Making, the Fivio Foreign-assisted Off The Yak cut “Hello Baby,” “Brooklyn (Chiraq Freestyle)” and “PettyWap.”
To no surprise, finding a way to sustain season by season is what she does best. And because of that, a lot of her fans would argue that her name should in fact be in consideration whenever people bring up the boiling King of New York debate. The self-proclaimed Kween, M.A weighs on the parameters of that as well.
“When you look at Lion King, lions don’t have money,” M.A explains. “They don’t got numbers on the Billboard [charts]. They don’t count they bodies. It’s just respect and how you carry yourself. And the people choose who the king and queen is.”
Outside of her solo efforts, M.A has been keeping herself busy with collaborations, too, especially when it comes to women in hip-hop. Over the last few years, she’s spit on wax with acts like Latto and Dreezy for Hitmaka’s “Thot Box,” made a heater with Rubi Rose on last year’s “Don Diva” and most recently, was featured on Coi Leray’s debut album, Trendsetter, for “Mountains.” Before wrapping up a candid convo, she addresses the increased fame that they’ve been getting and the unnecessary criticism that follows.
“I love it,” she begins. “You know I love women, of course. I hate when people judge them because of how they move… Not everybody is going to be a Young M.A. To literally critique the way that they handle themselves or whatever the case. And just because they gotta show a little ass or two here and there, so what? That’s been going on. They’re still pretty women. They’re still beautiful. And they still got talent. They’re still having fun with their music. They’re still making money. What is the problem?”
Ahead of her Off The Yak Tour (Phase 1), here, Young M.A speaks with XXL about her new NFT project, the King of New York debate, the current state of women in rap, a number of her current endeavors and more. Check out the interview and photos of her new NFT drop below.