Release Date: Jul 17, 2012
Record label: Universal Republic
“I’m the master of ‘I don’t give a fuck,’” says Angel Haze in a self-made video on her YouTube channel, aptly titled “How To Give No Fucks”. It’s a kind of backhanded manifesto on self-respect; after all, as she says, the kind of blasé person that she is must “first accept that they are not shit.” In the same way that she presents this brash attitude to a world that might not know quite what to make of her yet, Haze makes no apologies for the emotions that she bares on Reservation, her debut EP. The offerings on Reservation belie her YouTube persona; only someone who gives at least several fucks could offer up something this personal, this diverse in its influences, and this polished.
The 20-year-old Angel Haze is just beginning to burrow her way up from the underground, yet she may be the perfect avatar for hip-hop in 2012. For one, it's hard to even call her a rapper; on Reservation, her first full-length to feature all original beats, she is as comfortable emulating Aaliyah as she is Foxy Brown. Like so many of rap's buzzing young internet stars of the moment, her background flies in the face of hip-hop's cultural bedrock: She grew up in the orbit of a Detroit-area church she has likened to a cult, and until her family fled when she was 16, Haze had little exposure to pop culture.
Twenty-year-old rapper Angel Haze tends to draw blood wherever she targets: she is as relentlessly raw when dissecting her own heart and brain as she is when verbally dismembering her enemies. On Reservation – the title of which nods to her native-American heritage – she fulfils the promise displayed on mixtapes such as 2011's Altered Ego. Her craft – lyrics, hooks and storytelling – has been tightened up without losing any of her intense intimacy.
Everything about 20-year-old Michigan rapper Angel Haze is exciting: Brought up in the Greater Apostolic Faith Temple. Bisexual. Internet-famous since 16 thanks to her YouTube channel, TheRealAngelHaze. She’s talented, weird and naaaaasty, like Nicki Minaj at her naaaaastiest. Now Haze has the ….
Angel Haze is among a few ferocious rappers threatening the established iconography of hip-hop. The Brooklyn MC is transgressive in both her influences and content: the way those before her came up on Kanye or Nas, Haze is the product of Drake's cultural dominance. It shows in her flow - when short of breath, both she and Drake yield to a pinched delivery - and method, as heard on this introspective, R&B-smeared EP, her fourth free release in two years.