Among the rising tide of new up-and-coming rappers, Angel Haze has been proving to be one of the most worthy of our attention. On “New York,” Haze boasts how she runs the city with acidic ego-boosting wordplay that manages to reference both Hey Arnold! and Mortal Kombat in the same breath without losing an ounce of toughness. Having moved to Brooklyn five months ago, she already feels right at home, frequenting the local thrift stores which she says are “more edgy” than those she’d shop at in California and Virginia where she previously lived. She says that her experience in New York has affected her rap style “a ton,” specifically saying, “It’s made me exponentially more obnoxious than I’d been before, more outgoing and confident as well.”
This is pretty clear when listening to her latest release, Reservation, which is proving to be one of the hottest mixtapes this year. On it, Haze zigzags through an emotional landscape, spitting out venom at breakneck speed on tracks like “Werkin’ Girls” and “Supreme,” while also showing vulnerability with the introspective ballad “CHI (Need to Know)” and her personal favorite “Wicked Moon,” which features a vocal from R&B singer Nicole Wray. Reservation also contains a spirited rap-duel between Haze and Kool A.D. from Das Racist on the song “Jungle Fever” but collaborations aside, it’s a record that Haze carries incredibly well on her own. A browse through YouTube clips will show how Haze can work through a freestyle without flinching; On Reservation she describes the record as having “a little bit of both, honestly” when referring to her improvs as well as her pre-written lyrics.
When asked about what’s up for 2013, Haze responds brightly, “Lots of things! That’s excitement if you’re unsure.” Haze has much to be excited for considering her recently inked deal with Universal which is sure to put her unique raps in the ears of a lot of listeners eager to get a taste of the latest evolution phase in hip-hop. Reservation may be the jump-off for Angel Haze, but what’s in store for the not too distant future is something we definitely have our own reservations for.
Download “New York” below. You can also check out the whole Reservation mixtape over at DatPiff.