Angel Haze

Santos Party House, New York, Thursday, July 19

In the ongoing competition to be The World’s Greatest Young Female Rapper, there are many contenders. There’s the reigning champ, Nicki Minaj. Coming up behind are Azealia Banks, Kreayshawn and Iggy Azalea. But New York’s Angel Haze is adamant she stands above the rest, and to celebrate this month’s outrageously excellent ‘Reservation’ EP, she’s curating a bash in the basement of Chinatown staple Santos Party House.

Hitting the stage half an hour late to perform a handful of tracks, the 20-year-old Michigan-born rapper immediately pulls a few girls on stage to join her, yells at five others to get on up there and then hollers for two more. Shyness is not one of her traits. Indeed, Haze has made much in her short career of being sexually provocative (she’s openly bisexual), and tonight she’s wearing neon pink tape covering her breasts, a mesh-black tank top and little else. At one point she declares: “If you don’t like it, get the fuck out of my party!”

Feisty ain’t the half of it. In introducing her recent single ‘New York’, she says: “I moved to New York four months ago,” then I dropped a single saying “I run New York!” But just like Azealia, she knows there’s nothing endearing about modesty. Throughout, her flow is impossibly rapid and venomous as she hurtles through tracks like ‘Werkin’ Girls’ and ‘Hot Like Fire’, stopping only to say: “I don’t even know the words to my own shit, who knows the words?” It’s hard to keep up, and the only people trying are the girls twerking before her.

On stage Haze is as powerful, young and dangerous as on record. Every pristine sample is met with the petite songstress at her most aggressive, and on more than one occasion she yelps “MOTHERFUCK YOUR FEELINGS!” to the crowd and demands they sing it back to her. Tonight doubles as Haze’s 21st birthday party, complete with a cake in the corner with the words “congrats on the record!” written in icing. After singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to a room full of strangers, you get the feeling this show will be the first of many celebrations.

Maria Sherman