Angel Haze Sets Brooklyn Ablaze
When Angel Haze took the stage last night at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn, there was no semblance of the relatively quiet year they had. Coming off a successful drop of their new single, “Impossible,” Haze—who identifies as agender—took no time to remind the audience of their brazen originality.
“I come to you a new me, so I think I have to play new shit,” they shouted over the roaring audience.
Dressed in black on black, Haze spit with boundless energy. While most of the night they performed new music, they played old favorites like “Werkin Girls” and jumped off the stage to dance and sing in the crowd. As a performer, the passion behind each lyric was tangible to the audience.
“I have nothing if I don’t have music,” they said.
Haze gained a following after releasing their first free EP, Reservation, in July 2012. Detroit raised, they had a severely religious upbringing; Haze was banned from listening to pop and hip-hop music until moving to Brooklyn at 16. This lack of musical influence and unusual personal history is what Haze and others have attributed their original sound to.
Now 24 years old, they’ve signed with Universal Republic Records and, if “Impossible” is any indication, have an excellent new EP, Back to the Woods, in the works. The song strays from her 2014 collaboration with Sia, "Battle Cry," and returns to the original tough, staccato sound with a slight rock vibe.
Atop a bucket-banging beat, the militaristic acoustics of this song are complemented by Haze’s strong, culturally charged poetry. “I've got my middle finger up to White America / For trying to whitewash my blackness.” There is also a semblance of inner growth as well throughout the rap in verses like, “Sorry I’m crazy / But I opened my third eye / And the view is amazing.”
Watch for Haze’s new EP, Back to the Woods, due out this fall.