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New York-based MC Angel Haze has already been turning hip-hop heads for a while, and her recently released Reservation EP is bound to garner the mega-star attention this young talent deserves. Just 21 years old, Haze was raised in a conservative Christian community that she compares to a cult before she and her mother left when she was 10 years old. While from Michigan originally, Haze lived in Long Beach and New Jersey, as well, before making New York her own. Her signature track, "I Run New York," is both an ode to her adopted city and a mission-statement: She runs NYC. Pretty soon she'll run hip-hop.
Themes of her mercurial identity run through her work; the title of Reservation is partly a play on her Native American heritage, and her rhymes are reminiscent of the technically gifted East Coast rappers of the past, though she says she was most inspired by Eminem. Her style, like her rhymes, is both dark and confrontational. She favors jeans and sneakers — utilitarian clothes you could actually see her rapping in comfortably, or possibly fighting in, or running. She looks glamorous and dangerous at the same time.
Click through to check out our exclusive shoot of Haze at SOB’s in Manhattan.
Photographed by Bek Andersen