Katorah “Young M.A” Marrero is nothing if not true to herself. In 2016, after a couple years building buzz online, the 25-year-old Brooklyn hardcore rapper broke out with “Ooouuu,” an official debut single that, despite its catchy and playful refrain, was unapologetically gritty New York and openly acknowledged that she’s a lesbian.
While sticking to a potentially abrasive regional aesthetic in 2017 is kind of a big deal, it’s the latter point, and the overwhelming love that M.A received, that are far more historically significant in a musical genre and larger culture that has been slow to accept and support LGBTQ people. But as M.A says, if she was going to fail, she was going to do it on her own terms. On the latest episode of GGN, Young M.A, who released her debut album, Herstory, independently in April, drops by the studio to chop it up with Snoop. Check it out as they discuss M.A being honest about who she is, her New York sound, the struggles of being a female rapper, her BET Awards performance that blew Snoop away, the downside of collaborations, her first tour and the surprising cities that had the most love for her, playing tackle football with boys as a kid, why turning down a role on Empire is one of the best moves she’s ever made, and more.