6. Because One of the Best Rappers Right Now Is a Pansexual Virgin From Brooklyn

Photo: Christian Weber. Hair by Tiffany Daugherty for EVO/Epiphany Artist Group, Inc.; Makeup by Garret Gervais at Opus Beauty.

“It’s a crucial time in my life now,” says 22-year-old Angel Haze. Her major-label debut, Dirty Gold, is out next month, and the rapper with a gleefully aggressive flow is getting ready to move from L.A. back to New York. She lived in Brooklyn as a child, after her family fled a religious cult in Detroit. At 13, then living in Virginia, she came out as a lesbian to her devout mother, who eventually kicked her out of the house. She came to New York on her own—“Terrifying,” she says. Now she’s settling in Williamsburg, and one of the first things she says she’ll do is get a tattoo of Salvador Dalí’s Ballerina in a Death’s Head. It’s a fitting choice given that her output feels one part delicate confession (“I’m really just at war with myself,” she’s rapped) and one part lyrical posturing (“I spit till my lips need sixteen stitches”). She writes and speaks often about her sexuality (she now identifies as pansexual and is a virgin) and the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. “I’ve always known that I didn’t feel a certain way about standards of sexuality. I just like what I like when I like.” She once recorded mixtapes in her basement on Adobe. Now, with a label behind her and a rabid following, she says, “I finally feel like I’m not standing alone.”

6. Because One of the Best Rappers Right Now Is a […]