Pillbox

Wilson starts freestyle project

Rapper Angel Haze has been releasing a steady stream of new material as part of her 30 Gold project. (credit: Courtesy of Murakami_Reader via Flickr) Rapper Angel Haze has been releasing a steady stream of new material as part of her 30 Gold project. (credit: Courtesy of Murakami_Reader via Flickr) The _30 Gold_ project shows Angel Haze’s 
willingness to experiment. (credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) The _30 Gold_ project shows Angel Haze’s willingness to experiment. (credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

New York rapper and noisemaker Raykeea Angel Wilson, better known as Angel Haze, has been releasing a slew of new material as part of her 30 Gold project.

The Detroit native, often compared to fellow female up-and-comer Azealia Banks — with whom Haze has had an extensive Twitter altercation — will release a new freestyle rap roughly every day for 30 days. So far, the project has yielded some of the greatest hip-hop released this year, commercial or otherwise. All material can be found on Angel Haze’s SoundCloud account, https://soundcloud.com/angelhazeym.

Wilson is one of the fiercest wordsmiths in hip-hop music today. An open pansexual and outspoken victim of sexual abuse, she first gained widespread attention with her 2012 track “Cleaning Out My Closet,” a song that borrowed the Eminem beat of the same name and turned it into an exorcism of her own childhood demons. The song, which details the sexual abuse she endured during her childhood and the extensive emotional scarring it caused, is impossible to listen to without wincing.

The material released thus far ranges from freestyles over some of the biggest hip-hop beats of the year to a soft acoustic cover of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.” The sheer range of styles that Wilson has explored over the course of this project is a testament to her great talent and a sign of what we can expect from this fantastic artist.

In addition to her engaging lyrical content, Wilson has high technical skill. Her flow on Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle” never misses a step and exhibits a kind of energy not usually heard from hip-hop’s ruling class.

When she revisits one of her own songs on the snap-and-clap-filled “New York Remix,” her rapid-fire delivery gives boasts like “313 but I run New York” — the kind of credence not often felt in rap music.

Of all the music released as part of the 30 Gold project, the best instance is her take on the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hit “Same Love.” While the original song shows Macklemore, a straight white male, trying to identify with the gay rights cause and rally his listeners to join the cause, Wilson’s is so powerful because it comes from someone who actually has a stake in the fight.

She opens the song with the story of coming out to her mother at age 13 and being told, “You’ll burn in hell or probably die of AIDS,” and closes it with the declaration that, despite orientation, “We all feel the same love.” It’s an incredibly moving song, and one that could only be written by someone who is on the receiving end of societal inequality.

The 30 Gold project, if nothing else, proves that Angel Haze is one of the most gifted chameleons in hip-hop today. Check https://soundcloud.com/angelhazeym for all of her 30 Gold releases, as well as the rest of her music.