“Parental discretion is advised.”
That’s how Angel Haze begins her new track “Cleaning Out My Closet,” off the upcoming CLASSICK mixtape, due out this Thursday. She then does something that we’ve rarely heard in hip-hop history: she lays out her history of childhood rape and sodomy with unflinching honesty. (One night he came home and i was sleep in my bed/ He climbed on top of me and forced himself between my legs, for example). She then goes onto rhyme about the resulting shame and depression and eventually, the process of healing she found through speaking about what happened. (I opened my wounds, I had to bleed till I stopped it/ Thanks for joining me here as I cleaned out my closet.)
The unusual dose of hip-hop honesty comes off as a combination brave, chilling and inspirational all at once. For a beat, she appropriately chose Eminem’s confessional 2002 song of the same name. But whereas Eminem spent his track telling his mother how much he f**king hates her for her failures as a parent, Angel Haze’s closet cleaning is all about addressing the past in order to learn to move forward. Bravo.