It’s been a long journey for Angel Haze. Following up her 2015 release Back to the Woods, the LA-based rapper, poet, and visual artist continued working on outside projects, and went on a spiritual break, retreating to heal, reflect and find music again with Girl With the Gun, her upcoming EP, out Nov. 19.
“I was at a point where I was done learning,” shares Haze of her more than five-year hiatus since Back to the Woods. “I was done surrendering, and I had something like really catastrophic happen, so I said ‘give me three months. I’m gonna make a project, and I’m gonna come back, and it’s gonna be the best shit you’ve ever heard.’ So I had three months, and when I came back I had ‘Girl With The Gun.’
At just under two minutes, Haze says everything she needs to in the single “Never Seen,” a hazy daydream through the artist’s facing her own larger-than-life ego. I am not the type of bitch / To be appeased with all the average/ I got lots of codependents/ Ding ding what’s the tab / I been known to flip the digits, sings Haze on “Never Seen,” embodying another persona, vocally, flowing into a dreamier state.
“I explore the territories of my voice, both in and outside my mind,” says Haze of the track. “I wanted to play with different tones and intertwine certain phrases to create a woozy, dreamlike impression. This song is my daydream of a life bigger than my eyes can hold. I’m massive. Take it all in.”
Gazing at herself from the outside, “Never Seen” is also a narrative of survival.
“I feel like I had to create a character that could get through everything I was going through at the time, so Girl With The Gun is a superpower,” shares Haze, who was coping with severe depression around the time of Back to the Woods. “She had to be because when I released Back to the Woods I knew I wouldn’t put out anything for a minute because of where I was mentally at the time, so it was just a challenge to overcome myself. I am my biggest threat, and my biggest support, and my biggest advice, and the biggest everything.”
“Never Seen” is a revelation of Haze’s own superpowers, now. “I was able to create something that to me still feels cohesive, even though it’s just kind of like a general story, about love, life, light, power, and all the other shit,” reveals Haze. “I think what I wanted to do with ‘Girl With The Gun’ was not focus so much on the darker parts of my story. I think a lot of what has changed the lives of the people who listen to me, and why they still care about me, and why they still feel a part of themselves in the music. That is ultimately the power that I wanted to tap into.”
Haze adds, “I’ve been through so much, and it hasn’t killed me. It seems like I have so many superpowers now.”
Like Girl With The Gun and every work prior, Haze works with intention, and never serves expectations.
“When it comes to music, it’s no different because I do recognize my purpose in life,” says Haze. “I do recognize the things that make me different and set me apart from other people, and that’s just the courage to tell my story—no censoring, no fear.”
Girl With The Gun Tracklist
- Girl With The Gun
- Fly Trap
- The Altar
- Never Seen