In today’s New Music Monday, we take a look at Angel Haze, a young bisexual rapper who’s poised to enter the mainstream with her newly-released album Reservation.
Angel Haze is musically far more than the sum of her parts. Evoking by turns Aaliyah, M.I.A., and Azealia Banks, the Native American rapper and D.C. native has garnered high critical praise for Reservation, her first full-length to showcase both her lyrical verve and beatmaking prowess. Jordan Sargent of Pitchfork goes on about Haze’s influences and how they reveal themselves on Reservation:
The ease with which [Haze] empties her brain while floating from rapping to singing recalls no one less than Lauryn Hill, but the mood and much of the sonics (as well her remixing a handful of his songs on previous mixtapes) suggest that Drake looms large. Her punchline- and simile-heavy rapping are purely latter-day Lil Wayne, except unlike this current incarnation of Weezy, Haze bites as hard as she barks… Haze isn’t necessarily forging new territory by herself, but she’s a standout figure merely by existing within the framework of her generation’s popular rap music. Reservation is something that could appeal to a vast number of hip-hop and R&B fans, but… Haze has a unique ability to interact with her influences as well as the pop-rap world writ large while still remaining distinctly individual. That’s not an accident, either. Like plenty of rappers, she expresses pride in being herself, but not in the boilerplate manner you get from a lot of artists that are in actuality just thinly veiled facsimiles of established stars. Instead, you get the sense that Haze has spent a lot of time thinking about and working through who she is as an artist and a person.
Check out these (potentially NSFW due to language) clips of “New York,” “CHI (Need To Know),” and “Wicked Moon;” then, head over to Haze’s website and stream Reservation in its entirety. Do you dig it, listeners?