This is not a review. It’s only fair that I tell everyone up top this is not a review. It’s just highlighting one of my favorite 2012 EP’s.
Leaping off the edge four years ago, Angel Haze’s cannonball splashed down when she was featured in Fader magazine’s BIG issue. An issue devoted to Notorious B.I.G. which in part, outlined current torchbearers of his talents. With all but youtube hits and not an EP or hit mixtape to her name Angel Haze was one of them. She was thrust into a comparison that even in it’s best effort to remain fair to both her and P-o-p-p-a thrust a world of spotlights and microscopes to her art.
But it’s not as if she wasn’t asking for them.
At the time of the feature she had 250,000 hits on a single video of hers but she mentioned that she has had maultiple accounts before that which had roughly a million views. She furtherer commented that “When I feel like any type of attention is too much, I crawl in my shell.”
I find that the most interesting part of the interview because now, with that comment, and that feature having some time to breathe what has Angel Haze done? Right after arguably her biggest outlet and her most grandiose comparison what would Angel Haze do now?
Coming from a strict military family and stern religious beliefs in Michigan that Haze refers to as a cult she commented “I couldn’t listen to a hip-hop song without someone telling me I was going to burn in hell until I was 16 years old.” Many people escape into or through their writing, and while there is a difference, Haze’s eye’s were thrust open when she wrote a letter. “I wrote a freaking suicide letter, and it was kind of amazing to me. I had to mature much earlier than everyone else.” After this scare and her family eventually leaving the church and the state after a threat on her mother from a Pastor and relocating to Virginia, what would Haze do with this so to speak new found freedom?
She took off.
Video after video, song after song, she viewed other rappers verses as challenges. She would take the instrumental and freestyle over it trying to match other aspiring rappers and the artist themselves lyric for lyric clever verse for clever verse. Then her take on Lil’ Wayne’s “Six Foot Seven Foot” went viral.
Perhaps in those moments of popularity when she had to remove a certain identity from the internet and start over Haze wasn’t ready. Perhaps she was filled with a little too much self doubt. Maybe she just wanted to fuck around for a while longer before she stepped up once again. And maybe the Bobby Fischer in her just wanted to escape like she did all those years ago in Michigan. But mostly it appears that no matter what she said Haze wasn’t truly ready to do what she now prides herself on- not giving a fuck.
Since the Fader feature Haze has released three projects.The mixtape King in July 2011. An Ep Voice in April 2012 and her latest EP Reservation today. So now that Haze is a year removed from being compared to one of the greatest rappers of all time and has seen her star rise to record downloads, youtube hits, twitter followers and press– what will Haze do now?
The song that got me hooked. Immaculate flow on a Gil Scott Heron sample found on her new EP Reservation which found it’s name due to her Native American ancestry. The part of her she most recognizes with.