Angel Haze is a relatively unfamiliar name in hip-hop attributed to a powerful being that has very clearly been outworking many modern hip-hop artists, almost unbeknownst to most rap music listeners everywhere.
On Monday, Haze released her already well-observed and venerated mixtape, “Back to the Woods” via music-streaming website, Soundcloud. The release was immediately listened to, and proudly written about by the hungry staff writers of a slew of internet music blogs such as Pitchfork and Stereogum.
Upon first listen, I was charmed into not pressing stop by silky synthesizer chords and booming 8O8 kicks resting soundly beneath Haze’s rough and worn voice. As the tape rolled on, it became apparent that Haze’s voice serves a purpose higher than being a gruff vessel for strong, empowering lyrics — she can sing and she can sing well. From slow, melodic tracks like “Moonrise Kingdom,” to aggressive, cut-throat tracks reminiscent of Death Grips like “Babe Ruthless,” Haze dips in and out of her incredible fountain of talent, as well as her seemingly complicated range of emotions in a surgical fashion.
This album was curated over the course of the past year, which has been particularly vociferous for Haze. She endured a very publicized breakup, amongst other issues, with ex-girlfiend, Ireland Baldwin. The issues the couple underwent both personally, as well as as a couple, most definitely show throughout this mixtape. Stream this 50 minute work of art below: