Getting real with Young M.A: Music, stardom and her message to Obama

Rapper Young M.A. attends a Pandora event at the SXSW music festival on March 16, 2017, in Austin, Texas.

Story highlights

  • CNN caught up with Young M.A at the SXSW music festival in Austin
  • The Brooklyn rapper is most known for her 2016 hit single "Ooouuu"

Austin, Texas (CNN)CNN caught up with Young M.A at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, where the Brooklyn rapper showcased her latest music at the Vevo House and reflected on her love and appreciation for former President Barack Obama.

"I don't really get too involved with the political stuff," she told CNN. "I just really talk about my struggles and what I go through."
Whether she is spitting out raw lyrics in "Dear Bro" about coping with the devastation following the loss of her brother to gang violence in 2009 or opening up about her struggles in challenging stereotypes about women in tracks like "Quiet Storm," Young M.A is consistently unapologetic, confident and uplifting.
    The rapper, who turned 25 on Monday, said she would have liked to see Obama serve an (unconstitutional) third term, but now that he's out of office, she is sending well wishes and positive vibes his way.
    "I'd tell him keep being swaggy, keep being cool like how you be cool and enjoy your life," she said. "It was fun, it was real and he did what he had to do, you know what I mean, he made it happen."
    The Brooklyn rapper is most known for her 2016 hit single "Ooouuu" -- a catchy, hardcore club banger, which has been on the Billboard Top 100 chart for 13 weeks.
    She performed her most recent track, "Hot Sauce," at the Vevo showcase and returned to the annual festival for the second time as a star who received cosigns from some of the biggest names in the industry. She said that even though last year "wasn't as big as this," the last time she was at SXSW, "it was still love."
    Vevo, which works with the top entertainers in the world, has also been making efforts to team up with new, up-and-coming artists including Young M.A, Aminé, Jay Electronica, Jacob Banks, Lewis Del Mar and Sigrid -- all of whom performed at the festival.
    While Young M.A's music is not explicitly political, being an outspoken lesbian in the hip-hop industry -- a topic that she often addresses in her lyrics -- has broken some taboos. And the MC's rising star power, from doing freestyles on YouTube to opening for Beyoncé, has many people talking.
    "What inspires me more is the experiences now," she said. "Also the people, you know, my supporters, they inspire me more than anything because they want to see me keep going, so I gotta keep going for them."
    Young M.A said that as far as political issues go, she cares the most about her family and their well-being -- so she said she is especially passionate about universal health care.
    When asked about her support for Obama, she specifically cited the former President's landmark heath care bill -- the Affordable Care Act, which is more commonly referred to as Obamacare.
    "When you cater to somebody's health, that's important, you know what I mean?" she said. "Because at the end of the day, a lot of people can't afford a lot of these hospitals and things that they go through."
    Among other things, Obamacare allows children to remain on their parents' health insurance until the age of 26 and allows people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage.
    "When you provide some type of leeway or some type of opportunity for somebody to be able to have health care ... then I think that's dope. That's what we need," she said. "And I feel like you shouldn't even have to pay for being taken care of."
    Republicans, whose effort to repeal Obamacare failed last month, are still working to reach a deal that would appease the most conservative members of Congress, who want to repeal the bill entirely.
    "Hell yeah, it bothers me to know (that Republicans want to repeal Obamacare)," she said. "It's basically taking away something that people had at one point ... and now it's back to the struggle."