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As far an internet albums go, Angel Haze takes the cake with their 2015 release Back to the Woods.
Haze, who gained a lot of their following from their fifth mixtape, July 2012’s Reservation, is an underrated icon in hip-hop. Classick, also released in 2012, definitely embodies the title With remixes of songs like Eminem’s “Cleaning Out My Closet”, the mixtape is personal beyond belief.
Leading up to Haze’s first, and only, studio album. Dirty Gold, Haze released a series of freestyles under the name 30 Gold, similar to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Fridays. During 30 Gold, Haze dropped their version of Macklemore’s “Same Love”,which puts the original to shame to say the lease. Throughout the song, Haze uses a smooth, conversational flow to discuss their growing up in a religious household while being pansexual. On top of phenomenal, one-of-a-kind verses, the song ends with Haze quoting Andrea Gibson’s groundbreaking poem Andrew.
Back to the Woods is, hands down, Haze’s best work yet. When asked about the title, Haze responded with “because im going back home to myself. to where im sane and i fucking matter. i only belong in the woods.” This album did not disappoint.
As soon as the bass hits in “D-Day” and Haze utters the words “I remember all my Detroit days up on 7 mile” with the aggressive fervor of someone that has an important story to tell. Each song relates to the next as Haze chronicles their thoughts upon their trip to the woods they frequented growing up. With songs about an old love (“Moonrise Kingdom”, “Detox”, “Dark Places”, “Bruises”), Haze dips into a part of their life that is normally kept semi-private, their relationships.
Each song is as elegant as the next. Haze encompasses the listener with a mixture of smooth vocals and aggressive rhymes that, combined, are a force to be reckoned with. The attraction to Back to the Woods begins with how unapologetically honest they are. They are the threat that every rapper should be afraid of. “Babe Ruthless” in itself is a song that deserves imminent amounts of attention.
The album’s production, done 100% by Tk Kayembe, is wonderful. The beats are graceful, tranquil, and flow between the songs. Tk, who hails from Los Angeles, CA, matches Haze’s rap style perfectly. Rarely to two artists compliment each other in the way these two do.
Angel Haze is underrated because they are singlehandedly approaching the rap game in being completely honest in everything they do from lyrics to interviews to tweets. There is a barrier between artist and fan, but Haze is completely open about everything while simultaneously keeping private matters private (ie. Their former relationship with Ireland Baldwin).
Needless to say, Haze needs more attention than they're getting.
Top Ten Angel Haze Songs to Listen To (in no particular order):
Angel Haze's Social Media:
article by DeJhane Lee- fully copyrighted.
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