Aggressive audio dynamite is how I would describe Bobby Shmurda’s introduction to the world. He took Chicago’s drill movement and laced the style with explosive, natural-born Brooklyn swagger. “Hot Nigga” was without question hottest single to scorch the streets and interweb in 2014. The world was hooked on a song that didn’t have a hook. Two years after Bobby’s hat magically disappeared, fierce Brooklyn swagger once again scorched the summer without a hook, but this time it was the voice of a woman that caused the world to dance. 2016 was completely taken over by Young M.A’s “OOOUUU.”
Unless you lived in a pineapple underneath a rock in the sea or spent the year sequestered from internet, radio and your fellow man, Young M.A has been unavoidable. “OOOUUU” became the kind of phenomenon where it followed you into social gatherings—parties, clubs, lounges; she was simply everywhere. If the song wasn’t playing at a function, someone was bound to make a Headphanie joke. If you missed the music video there was no escaping the plethora of memes and viral clips. If you somehow missed the original, you were bound to hear a remix—from Queens to Compton famous rappers flocked to the beat like surfers rushing to catch an enormous wave.
“OOOUUU” was like a Kanye rumor the way it swiftly spread across the country. “OOOUUU,” like “Hot Nigga,” has the quality of a mixtape record with just the right amount of tricks to make it a big single. Tricks are what hook the audience outside of the chorus. Bobby Shmurda’s “Mitch caught a body bout a week agooo” is a very impressive trick. Every time the song plays, people are guaranteed to recite that part and even throw a hat. The brash Brooklyn spitter has various tricks on “OOOUUU,” the most obvious being the “ooouu” that she repeats throughout the song. Even when the song isn’t playing, I’ve heard countless, spontaneous “ooouus.” Of course, the best trick of all is, ”You call her Stephanie? I call her Headphanie.” A perfect trick, arguably the best I've heard all year.
Chance The Rapper is the biggest, most popular independent rapper in the world and has sat on his throne like a benevolent king all year long, but even “No Problem” feels small when standing next to the giant that is “OOOUUU.” The two songs are like Goku and Vegeta, both immensely powerful, but one is undeniably stronger than the other.
I can’t think of any song by an independent artist that felt more like a blanket covering the entire music industry the way that “OOOUUU” did. It's amazing that a young woman was able to reach No. 19 on Billboard's Hot 100 and No. 5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart without any major label backing. Young M.A has worked rigorously to reach this point in her career, and has proven to be a locomotive that has no intentions of stopping at “OOOUUU.”
Another rapper from Brooklyn once said, “The sky's the limit” and that’s exactly how I feel about Young M.A going into 2017.
By Yoh, aka Young Y.O.H., aka @Yoh31