Believe the Hype
She spits rhymes like bullets, sings like an innocent, and is wise beyond her years. Meet Angel Haze, quite possibly the greatest unsigned rapper ever...
Unsigned, 20-year-old rapper Angel Haze blew our minds and renewed our faith in the power of rhyme with her recent King mixtape. We wrote insanely hyperbolic things about her fast and fanciful style and every bit of it was true. We’re not alone in our rap crush either — Fader, Vixen, and her thousands of Twitter followers will totally back us up on this.
And get this, when she isn’t making mixtapes, the L.A. based emcee doles serious, spot-on wisdom for living and loving on YouTube. After listening to her prescient thoughts on cheating and hygiene, we knew we had to talk to her. You’ll be glad to know we managed to resist asking her for specific relationship advice when we interviewed her — though she did share some enlightened thoughts on love with us.
More importantly, we got Angel’s thoughts on Angel stuff: Her favorite poets, working with Das Racist, and the clothing line she sees in her future. Read on for all that and more.
Rapping is one thing, but how did you learn to sing like you do on King?
I actually really hate my singing voice. I feel as though I’m in need of serious vocal training. So, I can’t really say I learned to sing … singing’s always been natural for me, I still have to learn.
Speaking of rap’s enfants terribles, are you a fan of Odd Future?
I support their movement, but I can’t say I’m a fan yet.
Nice move sampling Jai Paul. Why did you choose to use that track? (“BTSTU”)
It seemed perfect for the moment. I needed a release and the whole vibe rainy/thunder thing just pulled everything out of me.
How do you produce your mixtapes by the way?
I used to record at home and have one of my friends master them, since he’s really into that type of stuff.
If you could pick one female vocalist to collaborate with on a track, who would it be?
I’m torn between Adele and Lykke Li. It’s so tough, because I literally believe both of them to be absolutely perfect. If it all came down to it, I’d do it with Lykke Li, we could make something seriously crazy.
We know you started out writing poetry. Who are your favorite poets?
E.E. Cummings, Andrea Gibson, Langston Hughes, Shakespeare. Most of my favorite poets are honestly some of my closest friends, they’re such incredible writers.
In your interview with Vixen you described your personal style as androgynous and expressed admiration for Kanye Wests clothing line. If you came out with your own line, what would it be like and what would you call it?
I actually plan to start my own line. It’d be styled very similar to my own personal style, very versatile and androgynous. I’d probably call it “Lame.”
What inspired the track “The Show Goes On?”
When I wrote that song, all in the same week, I lost two friends in car accidents. Death is not easy for anyone, and along with that there were millions of people coming to me about their insecurities and desire to kill themselves. Thought I’d use that song to convey the importance of life and how easily it can be stripped, and simply just to inspire.
King has a lot of lyrics about relationships. Are you lucky in love? Have you learned anything about relationships lately?
I’m very much in love! [Laughs] I’m usually not the relationship type, but I’ve learned that everything in life is a relationship, the trees have a relationship with the wind, rain with the ground, and just as they are engaged all the time and in the most personal way, so should we be with the people we love.
Sometimes we’re so afraid to be separated that we avoid giving ourselves entirely, or becoming part of another person’s cycle because we’re afraid of that permanence. But the wind will always blow, the rain will always fall, and we will always love…why not make the cycles last?
Do you sometimes think it’s harder to be openly bisexual than it is to be openly gay?
I think that in some ways it’s a lot easier than others, and harder of course, in other ways. Either way, everyone assumes you’re either gay or confused about what you actually want. I don’t really worry about or acknowledge that type of stuff, though.
Does being Native American influence your perspective in the rap game in any way? Do you draw on your cultural background for inspiration?
Part native. I wouldn’t really say it does. I like to believe that music is a culture within itself, it’s an ethnicity, an identity, etc. I forget who I am when I record, and become who I want to be, who I should be, or who I have been. I do, however, draw to my culture for inspiration at times, especially when I’m seriously lacking the will.
How is the music video with Das Racist coming along? What was it like to work with those kids?
It’s well, I should be seeing the first draft this week. I love Das Racist, they’re so complex. I mean you really have to pay attention to those kids. It may seem like nothing on the surface, but they’re amazing if lacerated. It was fun to work with them, I love Kool AD. He’s the kindest person alive, I like talking to him, he’s insightful as well. All in all, they’re pretty great guys.