In honor of Pride Month this June, Complex is sitting down with groundbreaking artists from various genres within the music industry to talk about how they're boldly challenging both industry and societal standards when it comes to sexuality and identity in 2017. For the first episode of this special series, we spoke with Young M.A about her journey and success in arguably one of the most stigmatized genres in the industry when it comes to LGBTQ inclusion—rap. The 25-year-old rapper got her big break back in 2016 when her single "Ooouuu" became a Billboard Hot 100 megahit. But, what was even more surprising about this New York rapper's instant success was the fact that her hit song openly showcased her sexuality and views toward women—something very rare for a chart-topping rap hit.
So after releasing her EP Herstory back in March, earning a Best New Artist nomination for the BET Awards, and collabing with a number of big-name artists like T-Pain, Young M.A is back to recording her own music and finishing up her much-anticipated debut album. Complex got the chance to chat with M.A on the rooftop of her Greenpoint, Brooklyn, apartment about the whirlwind of a year she's had, so far, and the radical success she's had as an openly gay artist in the rap game.
To learn how M.A first became comfortable speaking about her sexuality in her lyrics, the advice she has for fellow LGBTQ rappers, and more, check out the "Ground Breaker" video on Young M.A above.