This profile is part of Queerty’s 2023 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year.
Name: Caresha Romeka Brownlee, 29
Bio: This Florida-born rapper –– better known as Yung Miami, one-half of unfiltered and bodacious hip-hop duo City Girls –– always knew she was something special. “Before I was famous, I was hood famous,” she told The Cut in 2023. “Like everybody in the city knew me.”
In 2017, Miami was doing fine as a working mother. With a son born in 2013 (and a daughter who would follow in 2019), the 24-year-old influencer stayed busy hawking her fashion line on Instagram. But when her middle school bestie Jatavia Johnson (a.k.a her City Girls counterpart, JT) proposed the idea of starting a rap group, Miami bought in, despite having little musical experience.
After their first track (crafted without a producer, but with a ton of personality) went viral on SoundCloud, the duo quickly caught the industry’s attention and got signed by Quality Control. “We were just playing around and it blew up,” Miami told The Cut. “But we never planned to be artists or rappers or a rap group.”
And when life threw them a hurdle, Miami seized the day. JT was charged with aggravated identity theft and sentenced to 24 months in prison, but the duo worked hard to record a handful of hits before her July 2018 surrender.
Furthermore, Miami hustled to make sure the City Girls didn’t lose heat. “When [JT] was in jail, I was going to strip clubs and I would pay a DJ $20 to play [our] song,” she told The Fader.
An uncredited feature on Drake’s mega-hit “In My Feelings” scored them even more hype. (“When we heard him say our names on the song, we was jumping around, twerking on the keyboard, twerking on the couches,” Miami recalled.)
Finally, the City Girls’ debut album Girl Code arrived in November 2018. After JT’s release in 2019, they got to work on sophomore LP City on Lock, which dropped in June 2020. And of course, there was 2021 single “Twerkulator,” which had a vice grip on TikTok.
With the City Girls fans behind her, Miami ventured out on her own with the solo single “Rap Freaks” in 2021, and later tried her hand at acting in Kenya Barris’ You People and Starz’s TV series Black Mafia Family.
In 2022, she launched her own podcast “Caresha Please,” and in 2023, she reunited with JT for City Girls’ third album RAW –– short for “Real *ss Whores,” naturally.
To be fair, she’s only getting started. “I want everything: to be an actor, an artist, and entrepreneur,” she told The Cut.
Coming Out: Miami is known for discussing sex in a frank and relatable manner on her podcast. So, it’s no surprise that the rapper had a no-holds-barred approach to discussing her sexuality on The Jason Lee Show this past April.
During a game of celebrity Smash or Pass, Miami got especially enthusiastic when Lee showed her a pic of fellow hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion.
“I’mma smash all day and tomorrow,” she said, adding, “Megan … really could take me up and throw down.”
Miami went on to reveal that she identifies as bisexual. “Sexually, I have been with a woman before,” she explained. “I really do like girls, [but I can’t see myself] in a relationship with a girl.”
Funnily enough, this wasn’t the first time this City Girl made her love for Thee Stallion known.
That being said, Miami hasn’t always been so open-minded.
In 2018, a homophobic (and since-deleted) tweet from 2013 surfaced, where the rapper wrote that she wouldn’t want a gay son.
She later apologized on Instagram, writing, “I understand how it can be seen as offensive to the LGBTQ community … My deepest apologies and heart goes out to those who have seen that tweet and were offended.”
Miami’s recent openness about her sexuality certain reflects growth and understanding around the queer spectrum. And overall, Careesha has come a long way from her humble beginnings in Florida’s Opa-locka neighborhood.