Six years after dropping her self-released 2015 album ‘Back To The Woods’, Detroit, Michigan rapper and singer Angel Haze (real name Raeen Roes Wilson) releases a new six-track EP entitled, ‘Girl With A Gun’.
Sole Leading Lady
‘Girl With A Gun’ is an entertaining, mixed bag of an EP. It’s like a 15-minute long audio rollercoaster ride. It’s low on filler, and rarely boring. Each one of the EP’s six tracks feels as if its delving into a different facet of the 30-year old artist.
Throughout all the EP’s hijinks, Angel Haze is its connecting factor, and sole leading lady. The Detroit artist covers a lot of ground in six tracks. She raps, she sings, she cusses, she’s commitment-ready, she’s direct – and sometimes she’s indirect.
Haze is untrusting and fine on her own, without any friends on ‘Fly Trap’. Yet, on ‘The Altar’ she’s contemplating what she’s ready and willing to sacrifice for her partner.
“I’m Kobe, Gimme The Ball!”
Supported by a blissed-out pop/rock instrumental, the EP’s title track, ‘Girl With A Gun’ is a highlight. Out of all the songs on the new release, Angel Haze’s singing vocals sound the most committed on this one.
With its laid-back guitar licks, nothing about the EP’s title track feels strained. It’s laced with sugared harmonies and charming melodies. ‘Girl With A Gun’ emits a chill aura, but it’s more than able to accommodate Angel Haze’s bite.
Immediately unforgiving and despising her competitors, Angel Haze takes no prisoners on ‘Fly Trap’. The rapper spits, “b***h, I’m Kobe – gimme the ball!” The sub-bass sounds that practically bulldoze the track’s beat work, further elevate Angel Haze’s uncompromising take on the world around her.
The production on ‘Fly Trap’ switches, and becomes more spacey midway through it. Still, Detroit’s Angel Haze doesn’t hesitate to continue spitting honestly about fighting her demons, and refusing to be slowed down by her detractors.
Making Sure People Know
Making the most of its upbeat instrumental, while utilising R&B vibes, ‘The Altar’ is a breezy affair. Angel Haze’s wispy singing vocals are partnered with thoughtful rap bars, and quirky sections on the track’s hooks. ‘The Altar’ features Angel Haze rapping about trust and being saved by love. It’s one of several tracks on ‘Girl With A Gun’ that evokes overt religious imagery.
Highlight ‘Never Seen’ is just under two minutes long, and yet it’s long enough to make a firm statement. It all kicks off with a clip of Angel Haze and producer WaveIQ verbally tussling. The beat-driven hip-hop cut then proceeds to showcase Haze’s alert, quick-fire rap ability.
Unapologetic about who she is or what she wants, the artist tackles lyrics about her personality’s light and dark tendencies. Haze makes it clear she has no qualms about letting go of what is not a fit for her, and spends the majority of ‘Never Seen’ making sure people know it.
Timing Is Everything
Impacting with moody guitars and sturdy, sober beats, love is Angel Haze’s religion on ‘Ministry’. What makes ‘Ministry’ standout is that it’s the only tune on ‘Girl With A Gun’ that sounds as if it’s got a bigger plan, or vision attached to it.
The semi-cinematic track packs in a lot of ideas. It’s over-ambitious at times, and inventive at others. ‘Ministry’ plays out as if it has chapters, or segments within it. Sections of ‘Ministry’ are performed in Spanish, and Spanish music influences take centre stage even more as the track heads towards its climax.
The EP’s final cut, ‘Bullet’ is defined by its funk-soul retro pop beats. Yet, with relationships still high on her agenda, Angel Haze uses it to tackle serious business. The star candidly muses on the power of love, before rapping about being sabotaged by her own ego.
Then, speaking to listeners directly, Angel Haze signs out of the ‘Girl With A Gun’ EP with a message. At the end of ‘Bullet’ the rapper can be heard quickly promising that, “God’s timing is everything.”