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Albums: January 17, 2014

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Angel Haze, Dirty Gold
Angel Haze is tired of being held down. Due to label delays, the 22-year-old Brooklyn rapper lived in Promising New Artist purgatory for too long, so she went ahead and leaked her own debut album online. Fortunately, Gold itself is just as bold; she’s got a knack for turning personal grievances into hard-hitting bangers (“Black Dahlia,” “A Tribe Called Red”), but she also points her quick, clever flow at some crowd-pleasing pop-rap. (Enter Sia, the Aussie siren who guests on the radio-ready “Battle Cry.”) A few of these experiments fail to take off — see: “Planes Fly,” ironically enough — but when she’s in her comfort zone, Haze proves she’s worth the hype. B+

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