“I’m from New York, we ain’t ‘sposed to do that mumble shit”.
Part of M.I.As Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre this Summer, featured Brooklyn rapper Young MA, with her first U.K performance. Her most famous song ‘Ooouuu’ has over 200 million views on YouTube, with her clever bars and cold flow catapulting her into the spotlight. In a country where music such as Punk and Grime were born, it was going to be interesting to see how a British crowd would react to her laid-back attitude, and old school hip-hop characteristics.
Awful Records fam member Tommy Genesis opened the show, which was a surprise considering her very, very alternative rap style. The Atlanta based musician is famous for her critiques of societal norms, and challenges the stereotypes in the rap industry with her hyper-sexualised, witty lyrics. The lights were out for he majority of her performance, meaning that you could only hear her when she performed tracks like ‘Execute’ and ‘Hair Like Water Wavy Like The Sea’. This created a kind of ethereal vibe, making me enjoy the atmosphere more than her actual performance. The only time she could be seen was when she was running across rows of chairs, and stopping to talk members of the crowd, which I thought was dope because it bridged the gap between the artist and the audience.
Young MAs DJ came out after that to get the crowd ready for her performance, playing tracks like ‘XO Tour Life’ and ‘Humble’, and even old bangers like ‘Hypnotise’ by fellow Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G. People left their seats and stood at the front of the stage in anticipation for a rapper that has been killing it, in a male-dominated industry.
When I say M, you say A!
When she came to the stage, the crowd went mad for her of course. She had the same chill but dangerous vibe that she has in her videos, and as a result created an atmosphere that (for me) was reminiscent of a Nas concert. She performed songs such as ‘Self M.Ade’ and ‘Hot Sauce’, going A cappella at the end of each song, which proved to me that she is an artist that doesn’t need to rely on producers to be successful. Before she performed the hit ‘Kween’, she explained to her fans that she is both a King and a Queen, referencing her female dominance in the hip-hop scene.
Yeah I’m pretty, but I’m loco…
When the beat for ‘Ooouu’ dropped the energy was crazy; this is a song that changed the game, and showed the world that Young MA is a force to be reckoned with. The only issue I had with the performance of this particular song, was that there was no wheel-up. Coming from a U.K music scene where wheel-ups are a regular thing, I was surprised that her most famous track was only played once. Overall the show was a vibe. Young MA connected with her fans when she rapped, and even when she took their phones to take selfies on. This is a rapper that is changing the game, and I’m sure her next U.K performance will bring even more sauce.