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Interview: Noel Phillips


MUSIC


REPORT


everything you’re about, I’m better than you.’ It’s a lot of fun too.


Angel Haze may not be a familiar name... yet! But this 20-year-old happens to be one of the brightest talents in hip hop today, bursting with feistiness, style, high energy and ridiculous amounts of skill. MTV describes her as ‘quite possibly the greatest unsigned rapper ever’. That’s some accolade. Now ready to brave the charts alone, the NY native talks to Flavour about her new single ‘New York’, rooftop inspiration and wanting to marry Donald Glover.


What inspired you to put pen to paper at the age of 11? Thoughts of suicide: they plagued me incessantly. I wrote my first suicide letter at age 11, and I’ve been writing ever since.


What can women get away with in hip hop that men can’t? Being bisexual, apparently. There’s not much else.


Your single ‘New York’ has got a lot of people talking. So what’s it all about? It’s just my very cockily, self- proclamation of the fact that I run shit. It’s a statement, NYC is the birthplace of a lot of the best rappers in the world, and that record is my way of just saying, ‘Fuck you and


If you took us on a tour of your hometown, where’d be first? Nowhere, cos I’d never go back there… [Laughs] But if I absolutely have to, I’d take you to Irvington and show you where it kind of all started.


In the opening of ‘New York’ we hear a voice grumbling... sounds like Gil Scott-Heron. Is it him? It is actually him [laughs]. It came simply from me sitting on a rooftop on Covert Street, wondering what the hell this song was going to be about. Then it clicked, I had a chorus, and the rest was history.


There are loads of different sounds on your new EP Reservation. What was the inspiration behind it?


I can’t really pinpoint the inspiration behind the EP. It came from too many places to be nailed down to one thing. Tons of things got me going, but the people who inspired me most were just fans and people closest to me. I tried very hard to stay away from mainstream influences and just dove into whatever was on spinner. I wanted it to be as authentic as possible, and with this one, I truly believe I’ve struck gold.


You’re very active on Twitter, can you elaborate here: ‘I feel like


Amber Rose is trying desperately hard to stay hot. She doesn’t want Wiz. Like a 400 pd nig*a don’t want a happy meal over a #1.’ Oh God, that was years ago. I tweet mostly for comedic release; I never put any actual thought into anything like that. That’s funny to read though, it made me chuckle.


You recently sent a tweet asking someone to marry you. Who’s your celebrity dream partner? I’m torn between Donald Glover, Justin Nozuka and Jason Mraz.


We read you had difficulties getting along with kids in school? Yeah, growing up I was bullied a lot. I spent most of my life being the new kid in a school/world of kids who’d been connected practically since birth. I had trouble interacting, so I ended up being home-schooled from time to time.


Who are your favourite artists in this new era of hip hop? Kanye West, Chrishell Stubbs (she’s the best female rapper ever), and Childish Gambino.


Who’s the most famous person in your phonebook?


I don’t actually consider any of my famous friends to be famous, so I’m gonna have to pass on this question.


EP Reservation is out now Follow Angel Haze on Twitter @NativeRaeen or visit whenitraeens.com


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IT GIRL: ANGEL HAZE The new messenger of rap strikes gold...


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