12:33 PM, November 21st, 2012


Meet Angel Haze: Rapper Tackling Sex Abuse in Her Rhymes

Raykeea Wilson is gesturing in a windowless, green-walled conference room in Midtown Manhattan, cutting arcs with her hands as she describes her onstage persona. “She’s the person I don’t have the guts to be,” says the Brooklyn rap newcomer, whose friends call her Raeen. “She is the person I feel I was born to be and in some way will come into in life.” 

She’s talking about Angel Haze, the never-gave-a-fuck force she werewolfs into when she rhymes on stage — with a kind of spitfire that inked the 21-year-old a record deal with Universal Republic just weeks after the release of her first mixtape, Reservation. There’s a lot of momentum for the Detroit-born Wilson at the moment: Pitchfork loved her mixtape; Fader compared her to Biggie Smalls; she was even featured in the New York Times. But perhaps most significantly, she’s sparked the most in-depth conversation in hip hop since Frank Ocean came out — with the release of “Cleaning Out My Closet,” a jarring account of childhood sexual abuse. 

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