Angel Haze’s story is so full that it really needs to be told like one of her quickfire raps. Born in Michigan. Military family. Followed the strict Greater Apostolic Faith. Found out it was like being in a cult. Left. Moved around a lot. Started in various schools and then dropped out of all of them. Took up rapping. Became a YouTube star. Perfected her craft by reading the dictionary.
A few weeks ago, she opened the next chapter – and celebrated her 21st birthday – with a bumping performance at New York City’s Santos Party House. “Man, that night was amazing,” she tells Radar, grinning. “Immediately after that every major label in the world was trying to get me!”
Haze is an artist who doesn’t mess around with humble brags. “My tongue is the fucking rapture, bitch”, she spits on ‘Werkin’ Girls’ from her recent EP ‘Reservation’. She’s variously “like magic” and “like classic”. “I run New York,” she proclaims on the Gil Scott Heron-sampling track dedicated to the city she only moved to three months ago. “I get off when I’m talking about how much better I am than other people,” she says. “I wrote it because they can’t fuck with me. Nobody is going to say otherwise because I am 10 times better than them.”
When it comes to her thrilling wordplay, she exorcises her past by playing on religion (“nuns give more fucks than I do”) and writing in mottos (“keep faith/Stay strong, be prosperous, stay positive and fuck anyone that say opposite”). She says proudly that she learned her craft by being thrown on stage and – although now collaborating with Adele producer Paul Epworth and up-and-comers Rudimental – spent “six months clean of music” to avoid being accused of sounding like anybody else. A flash of her iPod proves it; the only two artists there are Frank Ocean and Angel Haze.
“I want to be a legend,” she says. “I feel like I have the making. I have the work ethic and the abilities.” The bragging stops. “And I want to change things. I saw a six-year-old yesterday say she didn’t like herself very much…” Angel shoots us her trademark WTF look. “If you love yourself then nobody can fuck with you.”
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Based: New York
For Fans Of: Azealia Banks, Missy Elliott
Buy It Now: The ‘Reservation’ EP is out now
See Her Live: She’s set to hit the UK in October
Believe It Or Not: Island Records have just snapped her up in the UK, following one of the fiercest bidding wars in recent history