Sex, money, drugs, foreign whips … and love? Young M.A’s album Herstory in the Making features all of these topics and more.
Young M.A is most known for her 2016 single “Ooouuu”, remembered for the iconic line, “you call her Stephanie? (you call her huh?) I call her Headphanie.”
That line in and of itself made a name for Young M.A, with the video racking up 300 million views on YouTube since its release. Her rise to stardom and notoriety made expectations high for Herstory in the Making.
Young M.A did not disappoint with her latest album. Herstory in the Making explores the heteronormative expectations in rap, gang violence, the women in (and out) of Young M.A’s life, addiction and so much more. No disrespect to Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B or the City Girls, but Young M.A sells rap. She sells herself on pure talent and unmatched swagger. This girl can rap and there’s no question about it.
“No Mercy” and “Bleed” call the rap game out for discriminating against queer women. She goes into what it is like for her love life to be considered sinful and the discrimination she’s faced as a queer woman since she was young. Despite being criticized for her sexuality, she comes back at the haters by pointing to the money she makes and the game she has with the ladies as more important than any criticisms. Based on the rest of the album, Young M.A has no problem pulling girls and she completely owns it.
Outfitting the women in her life is a very prevalent theme in this album; from Chanel to Gucci, Young M.A decks out her girls and herself. “BIG” was an immediate chart-topper, Young M.A raps about her “big wrist, big whips, big glocks, big guap”. Young M.A spares no cost on matching her looks to the swagger she exudes. She rejects the style of the stereotypical female rappers who sport pumps, revealing outfits and acrylic nails. Her masculine style only adds to her brand and appeal.
Young M.A talks about her humble beginnings, starkly contrasting the money, jewellery, cars and women she flaunts today. “Da Come Up” is all about the hustle Young M.A had before she was a successful rapper. “Kold World” follows up this song and reassures that no one will take advantage of her wealth now that she has it. Her hustle came from her upbringing, “momma bought them gifts, none of that Santa shit” and “momma didn’t work a nine to five, no momma worked a nine to nine”. Her hustle makes her even more relatable as a rapper; she came from nothing and worked her way to the top.
Family seems to be a soft spot for Young M.A. “No Love” takes on a sadder tone as Young M.A raps about losing her brother to gang violence, “never went to church ‘cause I believe in God, not a pastor, yeah, the devil move faster, I seen my brother go from human to Casper.”
Gang violence is a source of inspiration for “Crime Poetry” as well. She tackles addiction in “Car Confessions”, “Numb” and “Sober Thoughts”. “Numb” hits home as an emotional track about drugs, Young M.A says, “I don’t wanna love, I wanna take these drugs and go numb”. The vulnerability she shows in these songs make this album truly a reflection of her as a person — not just a rapper.
These heavy-hitting topics are balanced out with bangers like “She Like I’m Like”, “RNID” and “NNAN” where Young M.A’s swagger really shines. These jams touch on the typical rap content: drugs, money, attractive women and sex. Young M.A fills her music with puns and clever word plays, allowing the audience to get something different out of every song with each listen.
“My Hitta” and “Stubborn Ass” show Young M.A’s love for her ladies. On “Stubborn Ass” Young M.A raps, “this is love, gotta apply by the rules, you leaving now is like a twelfth grader deciding to drop out of school.” As much as Young M.A is married to the money and in love with the game, there’s no doubt she has a soft spot for the women in her life. She raps about love and loyalty frequently on Herstory in the Making, adding another element to this album.
Young M.A is no doubt a knockout rapper. She has increased the depth of her content and has mastered skills since “Ooouuu”, making her a rapper I am excited to watch grow and push the limits of the rap genre going forward.