Introducing: Rising Rapstress $YM!
15 Sep 2020
Over the past few years, there has been an influx in women breaking through the barriers surrounding the musical landscape; so it’s only right that we plug you into another one of the hot new prospects heading to the frontline of UK rap. Known for bearing a demeanour slick with sass, an infectious pengame and a unique delivery — $YM is most definitely one to keep an eye on!
The Somali, North-West London, hailing rapstress is chilled, confident and ready to receive all the greatness ahead… To get to know $YM better, keep scrolling and have a read through our conversation, where we talk: the support from her community, her upbringing, dream collabs, plans for the future and more!
Hey $YM, introduce yourself…
My name is $YM and I’m a Somali, UK female rapper, from Camden.
Oh okay, I thought your name was an acronym?
Yeah it is and it isn’t, I kind of want people to take it as what ever they think it is.
What sparked your interest in music?
When I was younger I looked up to multiple artists, like Aaliyah, Beyoncé and then the rappers. So as a child I was into it. I left it, I wasn’t making music for years and then I decided to get back into it at 18.
Was rap always the goal for you?
No, I was gonna do singing instead, go uni or start my own make-up and hair brand. Because I’ve always been into creative stuff, but music is definitely what I’m most passionate about so I’m fully going in with that right now.
What was played around the house growing up?
I have a big family, with a lot of siblings who played a lot of music. So I was surrounded by all the good old school R&B and hip-hop music; like, Tupac, Biggie and Lil Kim. But when my siblings got older, they became more religious and stopped listening to music. However I still didn’t.
Would you say your sound today carries influences from your childhood?
Definitely, even like Nicki [Minaj] and A$AP Rocky you can definitely hear them in my music.
You recently released the catchy single ‘IDGAF’, what was the process of creating the track like? And what was the overall inspiration for the single?
I loved making that song, I remember I had a couple of haters coming for me online when I first started releasing my freestyles. And, I have a really I don’t get a f*ck attitude, people tell me all the time. I don’t care what people say, so I was like let me make an anthem for all the girls who feel the same as me; it’s just a care free anthem. Initially it was on a different beat, I was just writing it then I found the new beat and I was like this is perfect for the song – the process was a really fun!
I was gonna ask, do you have a persona/alter ego when writing but it’s sounding like how you carry yourself as an artist is all you!
Oh no this isn’t an alter ego, this is me in real life. I just speak on the things I see, the things I live, experience and do. I am my music. But then again, moving forward I may create alter egos but for now it’s just me.
There’s always talks surrounding the difficulties women face while navigating throughout the industry, so it would be interesting to know who it’s been for you so far?
Personally, I’ve done a lot since November, I’m grateful for that. However sometimes I do think, if I was a man maybe I would have more support, you know what I mean? Also I’m Somali as well and my community can be a bit toxic at times, so I don’t really get a lot of love from the Somali girls.
Yes! The only people that really come for me are Somali people really. Not anyone else, it’s never anything to do with my music it’s usually just a personal thing.
That must be difficult, especially because it’s your own people?
All these rappers have their own community bigging them up and supporting them. And then with me it’s the opposite, but it’s fine because there are a few that message me and tell me how much they f*ck with me. So I don’t want to generalise completely.
You have a very strong aesthetic online, is this something you’ve always had?
It’s something I’ve always done, when I was a kid I was into Tumblr and I was always into online aesthetics – pink and girly… everything has to look good! It’s a part of my music, some artists don’t care about album covers or pictures but I really do.
Do you have any collaborations ahead or anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Well I have a song coming out with two female drill rappers, I can’t say who now though. But I’d love to collab with Ms Banks and Dutchavelli.
Any other upcoming releases to look out for?
The next song is gonna be a banger! Better than “IDGAF” even, I’m also thinking about dropping an EP at the start of 2021 and then a mixtape at the end of that year.
Final question what was the last song you listened to?
Asian Doll – “Lame N****z” *laughs*