Angel Haze is a 22-year-old rapper who has already set the musical world and internet on fire with her poignant honesty and the electrifying rhythm in her remix of "Same Love" -- and her album hasn’t even been released yet.
Within a year after "Same Love" was first released by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert, the song climbed to the top of the charts and was widely referred to as an anthem for LGBT equality. Now, the New York-based Angel Haze is making headlines (in outlets like BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Billboard, and Radio.com, just to name a few) with her take on the song, in which she raps about her own sexuality and the related struggles she has confronted.
Angel is part of a growing group of rap, hip hop, and R&B artists to be open about their identity and confront LGBT topics with their music. In an interview with The Guardian, Angel described herself as pansexual, saying "Love is boundary-less. If you can make me feel, if you can make me laugh—and that's hard—then I can be with you."
Her rendition grabs your attention from the very beginning and doesn't let go. In it, she raps about…
Her mom finding out: "At age thirteen/my mom knew I wasn't straight/She didn't understand, but she had so much to say/She sat me on the couch, looked me straight in my face/And said you'll burn in hell or probably dies of AIDS."
Coming to terms with her own identity: "Locked away for two years to keep me on the inside/Because she'd rather see a part of me die than me thrive/And it's tougher when it's something you can't deny/And ignorance teaches us it's something you decide/You're drive by your choices, an optical illusion/Here's to understanding it's not always confusion."
Standing up for LGBT youth: "And so I stand for the boy who died by his hand/To the sound of his father screaming 'woman loves man'/'This is Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve'/And I stand for the girl with the cuts up her sleeve/And the heart in her hand and the chip on her shoulder/And I stand for it all until ignorance is over."
Queer-identified Andrea Gibson's poem, Andrew: "No I'm not gay/No I'm not straight/And I sure as hell am not bisexual dammit/I am whoever I am when I am it/Loving whoever you are when the stars shine/And whoever you'll be when the sun rise."
Angel's debut album, Dirty Gold, will be released in 2014, but you can listen to her 2012 New York EP and Classick in the meantime, and share Angel Haze's remix to help "Same Love" get just as many plays its second time around.