Artist Review: Angel Haze

Angel Haze

I suppose this post is kind of like an artist review (or maybe just a lil rant from me on my latest obsession). Lately I have been getting super into an amazing female hip hop artist by the name of Angel Haze.

In my most recent musical binge, I have personally found Angel Haze to be the kind of artist that once you have listened to her enough you feel like you actually know her on a personal level. To me, her music is a form of self expression, advocacy, and healing. In my opinion if an artist can achieve that, they have produced something authentic, and that is what I see as successful work.

When artists share their truths, when they are vulnerable and brave and open, it helps listeners to relate–it helps them know that they are not alone. It inspires listeners to share their own stories. That’s how Haze’s music makes me feel.

Angel-Haze-Dirty-Gold3Angel Haze hails from New York City, recently signed to Universal Music Group  has recently released a dope album called “Dirty Gold.” There is no doubt that it is difficult to make it in the music industry as a woman and in addition, it is especially difficult when that music is packed with socially conscious lyrics. The majority of her songs shed light on major social issues, especially involving sexual assault against young women. She courageously shares sexual abuse stories that she experienced as a child.

Being conscious and being female in the musical world is not exactly a recipe for the highest record sales, but that does not impact the content of her work. I appreciate her  because she takes risks as an artist, remaining true to herself. Through music, she is bringing her story and important social issues to light. Of course, musically, her songs are beyond super duper dope. She has great flow, word play, a unique voice, and delivers her content genuinely.

To me, her music is refreshing. Especially when we are constantly fed negative messages from the lyrics and videos that make up most of main stream music.

I wanted to choose some of her lyrics to share and discuss, but there is such a large pool to choose from with her work! I’ll just pick one song for the sake of brevity. The song “Castle on a Cloud” is one of my favorites. She shares a story of the sexual violence that occurred in her life from a perspective that I have never thought of before. The Lyrics to the entire song are below if you would like to read and listen:

“Castle On A Cloud”

For you, alright, look

A story to tell, pennies into a wishing well

See it’s hard to cope with a kiss

That you can’t tell in a word

That you can’t spell in a victim, who can’t yell

And they are under your fucking nose

With a sickness you can’t smell

And the problem is that you really crying for help

Nobody out there can hear you

It’s like they silence you yell

It started when he was 7

Continued till he was 12

And in the middle of the night

Found another man in himself

But this man was confused, this man was abused

See this man was a tool

To the sickness that he let loose

Infected and he abused, molested and he abused

To the person that he affected was lesser than finna shoes

Damn, he affected the chance to choose

He never gave him an option

He told him what to believe

But never gave him a doctrine

Now little boy blue, is just like you

Sick in the head can’t die but he’d like too

Damn, same dreams every night too

Screams every night too

Thinks that he’s like you

Says every single day there’s new demons inside you

They scream and they fight you

They scream to remind you

Of all the fucking pains still breathing inside you

And they give a million reason to die too

But nobody ever sees what’s inside you

I know it ’cause they ignore my screams and my cries too

I met a girl once, went through the same thing

She told me shit happens, but things change

Things change, she told me all this pain

Don’t mean chains, you gotta take it and remake it

‘Til it means strength,

But I ain’t strong enough, I don’t think I’m strong enough

Why me man I wasn’t even old enough

I wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t even bold enough

Would’ve told my mom but that shit would’ve torn her up

And she was torn enough, and he was mister perfect

And now it’s trivial I guess I was just fucking worthless

I just want you to know how much it hurt me

Because of you I feel like I’m not a person

So I sit here with this blade in my hand

I got the pain of a child and a brain of a man

And it’s so loud, I wanna fucking scream but I don’t know how

I wanna let it go, but I don’t how

Yes, it’s so loud, I wanna let it go but I don’t know how

It’s so loud, I wanna let it go but I don’t know how

I wanna fucking scream but it won’t come out

Tried to escape but there ain’t no out

Now I’m stuck here in this castle on a cloud

Castle on a cloud,

Never going up, never getting out, never coming down

Castle on a cloud,

Never going up, never getting out, never coming down

For you

When I listen to this song I hear a story about how violence can be cyclical. I think this is a beautiful piece because she has her own pain and suffering that comes from sexual violence but she still looks at the perspective of her attacker and her mother, who it seems was seeing this man. She uses music as a medium of expression to share her perspective with the world. This song teaches me that sexual violence does not solely impact the victim. It impacts the whole family, it impacts us as an entire community. I especially love this line; “Things change, she told me all this pain don’t mean chains, you gotta take it and remake it ‘till it means strength.” Our liberation as a society is tied to the liberation of all people. Those who are abused, those who have been abused, and those who have abused. I feel like she is venting and crying out from the pain she experiences. She shows us that we can express pain and we can hurt and cry and feel and share.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this song as well.

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If you would like to explore more of her music you can find more here:

  • Angel Haze’s Website
  • Angel Haze’s Soundcloud (where you can actually download a lot of her songs for FREE!!)

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Look What You’ve Done
  • Her remix of Macklemore’s “Same Love” where she openly shares her sexual identity in the song: Same Love
  • Her remix of Kanye’s “New Slaves” touches on a lot of topics: New Slaves
  • Smile, which is more of a poem

And from her new album “Dirty Gold” my favorites are:

  • White Lilies / White Lies
  • April’s fool
  • Battle Cry

But all her songs are dope, check em out!

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12 thoughts on “Artist Review: Angel Haze

  1. meganleys says:

    Jenna thanks for posting this! She is amazing!

    Like

  2. someone1thatknows says:

    This poem sounds like some kind of sick song from that one gay movie brokeback mountain. Who would post something like this?

    Like

    • Jenna says:

      I appreciate any comments if you have feedback, something the add that is constructive, experiences to share, etc. But if you are going to be ignorant and hurtful then your comments aren’t welcome in this space and mean nothing to me as a writer.

      Like

  3. someone1thatknows says:

    If you want hurtful and ignorant, try remembering what happened at depaul

    Like

  4. lexismanzara says:

    I love Angel Haze and I’m so glad you wrote this! I heard about her from an RLA link a while back and haven’t heard much since and I’m really happy to hear she was signed. This is exactly what the music industry needs 😉

    Like

  5. […] advice column? Check out Bitch Magazine’s Ms. Opinionated. If you enjoyed Jenna’s recent review of Angel Haze, watch the new video for Battle Cry. Getty Images is launching a collection of 2,500 stock photos […]

    Like

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