Published May 01, 2017When Young M.A. declares "it's all about M.A. now," on the intro to Herstory, she's not being aspirational. A prelude to her debut album, Herstory in the Making, the EP showcases her potential beyond the breakout success of her 2016 summer anthem "Ooouuu." Although not quite as strong as her 2015 EP SleepWalkin', Herstory at least succeeds in establishing M.A. as more than just a flash in the pan. Bouncy, infectious earworms come easily to the MC, which she demonstrates on standouts like "Hot Sauce."
On "Bonnie", M.A. delivers an update to Ja Rule's "Down 4 U" and proves that she can make a flighty pop hit for the honies without forsaking her personality. "Self M.A.de" displays the grit and hunger that endears most rookie MC and "Ooouuu" maintains its charisma, even now. It's clear that M.A. is more than a one-hit wonder.
Lyrically, however, the project is subdued compared to M.A.'s ruthless freestyles. And it's hard to say whether the Brooklynite's ultra-regional sound works for or against her. When it comes to her delivery, her undeniable East coast swagger is definitely part of her charm. Yet the hyper-local feel of the production is redundant and criminally limiting. Now that "Ooouuu" has thrust her into an international spotlight, M.A. must find a way to harness her hometown pride while displaying some sonic versatility. Hopefully she strikes that balance on her album.
Herstory has its limitations, but M.A. is full of promise. Don't count her out. (Independent)