Rapper Angel Haze is making the media as excitedly fidgety as a room of schoolboys who’ve stumbled upon a top-shelf mag. She’s dating a girl. And she’s a celebrity. It’s Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, and the two attended the MTV Video Music Awards hand-in-hand last night. Haze – real name Raykeea Angel Wilson – is happy for the press to have a ‘field day’ with it. She’s in a good place right now and is keen to move on from divulging the details of a frankly dismal childhood, when she was a victim of rape at the hands of so-called ‘family friends’. The 22-year-old Detroit native talks strippers, sexuality and social media.
You’ve been teasing the press and public with images of you and Ireland Baldwin on social media. But before we get to that, why did you make a track on your album Dirty Gold about a different girl… a stripper?
Oh my god, the girl from [music track] White Lilies. She’s beautiful!
Strippers usually have a set play, so what made this stripper so interesting?
I suppose that even the most beautiful things have the ugliest view. I like to think of her as a house in the Hollywood Hills: you go so far up the hill and you can see everything and it’s a really pretty house with a really shitty view.
Was it your first time in a strip club?
No, no, I met her for the first time a year ago in Stringfellows, London. Peter [Stringfellow] is a good friend of mine.
Strip club relationships normally only last as long as a customer’s cash flow. Did you see her after that evening?
I spent a lot of time taking her out and having fun with her and she would just be talking about musicians and rappers she had been with; I thought it was interesting to have a glimpse into the head of a girl who wants the world but doesn’t see it. It’s all psychology to me, so she is just a science experiment.
In terms of your own life, the lyrics from your EP and debut album Dirty Gold seem to be quite cathartic. Have you moved on from that stage in your life now?
Yeah, definitely. I didn’t realize that until I was doing some interviews early this morning and I was completely exhausted by talking about my past. I was like an 18-year-old girl who had no clue that the world was paying attention and I was just making music because it was cathartic and a release for me and none of the other stuff mattered. Obviously it doesn’t mean anything to me anymore, so talking about it is like beating a dead horse. Now all of the other stuff matters: I’ve decided to have fun and I’m appreciative where I’ve landed in my life.
Your music connects with, amongst others, troubled young children. Do you see yourself as a role model?
I don’t feel like a role model because that means I would do everything that I knew was right and I’m like a f*ck-up.
Are you more ‘real’ and tangible?
Yeah, definitely but lots of people would disagree. Some people would think I was a whore or something — my friend over here is like ‘uh huh’ [laughs]. It’s cooler to just be real about it — it’s not a fairy tale life.
Do you feel like you’re changing rap’s attitude to sexuality?
Oh because I’m like openly queer or whatever? I suppose so, but I don’t think people get it still. I can see guys say [transgender rapper] Mykki Blanco or someone who is considered gay and queer. But I think I have female privilege because no one takes it seriously when it comes down to me. They’re like, ‘She’s bisexual.’ It will take someone bigger to change rap’s attitude but not me.
Do you want to see labels like LGBT disappear?
Yeah, I don’t think sexuality is an incredibly important thing. It’s correspondent to me saying “my favorite colour is red” repeatedly — no one gives a shit. What you do when you’re alone has nothing to do with anyone else. For me, I would like to see even “straight” dropped. Who f*cking cares? I don’t make friends based on whether they’re straight or gay. If I like you, I don’t care about your personal life.
It looks like you’re in a relationship right now with Ireland Baldwin. Are you just winding people up with your suggestive tweets and Instagram pictures?
No, I sh*t you not, I’m just a kid in love right now. It’s just like some 14-year-old posting pictures of their first girlfriend.
Is it love?
It’s all love [giggles].
Are you a clingy kind of girl when it comes to relationships?
Nooo, I’m the entire opposite. I don’t really do committed relationships ever — it’s insane if you find me in one. I’m usually very open… a polygamist.
Are you being totally monogamous this time around?
Right now, I’m being monogamous. It’s a first for me.
Who’s better to date: girls or boys, and why?
I think girls are better than guys but that’s just me.
We’re smarter than you guys, more fun and we smell better.
Girls do smell better. Speaking of relationships, you’ve also had an awkward one with your label after leaking your record. Have you kissed and made up?
We’ve all kissed and made up.
Will you be leaking your next album?
Oh I care for the next record. I will personally shoot everyone who steals it!