A few weeks before Christmas, rising-star rapper Angel Haze was getting restless about the release of her debut album, Dirty Gold, out today. So restless, in fact, that the emcee’s handlers were checking her SoundCloud profile every morning to make sure Haze wasn’t giving fans an unauthorized sneak peak. “If I didn’t have Angel on lockdown, she’d just put [the album] up there,” manager Nicola Carson told Billboard. “She wants people to hear it now. She’s so caught up in the moment and the creative space. She doesn’t get caught up in the politics.”
How prophetic. In a lengthy series of tweets on December 18, a fed-up Haze announced she was doing exactly what Carson feared: leaking her entire album on SoundCloud. “So sorry to Island/Republic Records, but fuck you,” the 22-year-old wrote. Haze said she had been promised a 2013 release if she finished the album by summer’s end, so when the record, originally due in January, was pushed back to March, Haze decided she was tired of waiting. Within a few hours of the leak, Haze’s label took Dirty Gold off SoundCloud but capitulated to Haze’s demands, announcing a December 30 release date.
Cat Power - “Manhattan” (Ryan Hemsworth Remix) [Feat. Angel Haze]
Honestly, as someone who thought that Detroit rapper Angel Haze came out of the whole Angel/Azalea feud looking only slightly better than Azealia Banks herself, I am apprehensive about finally digging into her body of work now. That might have to change, however, because I’m finding it very hard not to be impressed by her contributions to Ryan Hemsworth's remix of Cat Power's “Manhattan,” which was released earlier today.
Hemsworth layers just enough dubby, reverberant ooze onto the Sun highlight, allowing Angel’s voice to slink, rather haze-like, atop the smoothed over remnants of Chan Marshall’s piano flickers. Alone, they are both enigmatic and uniquely volatile figures in their respective scenes, but together, Angel Haze and Cat Power really do seem to complement each other. Hemsworth can’t take all the credit for the idea — the two artists are scheduled to play a number of tour dates together — but his work in linking these two artists directly cannot go unrecognized.