Review of the new record from Angel Haze

By Ray Rahman
January 10, 2014 at 05:00 AM EST

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+