For a person who didn't even listen to music until she was 16 years old, Raykeea Wilson - known internationally as Angel Haze - sure can rap.
The 22-year-old singer was born in Detroit, MI, and raised under the Greater Apostolic Faith, which she has often called a very "cult-tastic" experience. Under the religion, its members were not allowed to partake in any secular activities, which meant (among other things) no popular music. After leaving the church and moving with her family to Brooklyn, NY, Angel Haze started discovering contemporary rap music.
Citing inspiration from artists like Kanye West and Eminem, she began writing poetry and putting it to popular hip hop tracks. The result? A string of brazen, bold mix tapes, culminating in 2012's Classick, which features a jarring rendition of Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet." On it, Haze recalls a childhood filled with sexual abuse, self-loathing and thoughts of suicide. The track helped catapult the young rapper into the spotlight, where she now sits amidst comparisons to Nicki Minaj, Azealia Banks and even Biggie.
In late 2012, Haze released her first EP, New York EP, which features her most commercially successful track of the same name. "New York" is a hard - albeit catchy - track, in which the rapper bluntly states that she's nasty "like Nas, like Kim," is "spitting like a dragon that went missing from a dungeon," and, most importantly, that she "runs New York." And with all the accolades the artist received that year - BBC's "Sound of 2013," slots on Pitchfork and NME's "Best Tracks of 2012" - those claims may just be true. Her latest single, "No Bueno," debuted earlier this summer, off her upcoming album Dirty Gold - the release date of which is still TBA.
Angel Haze currently has no US dates scheduled, but you can catch her on the UK festy circuit this summer with stints at Bestival 2013 and Leeds Festival. Be sure to track this fierce up-and-comer on SeatGeek so you don't miss out on any tour date announcements.