After some disappointing figures on her new album, Dirty Gold, rapper Angel Haze is certain that sales will improve.
Angel Haze has fast become a recognised name in hip hop. She began her rise to fame when she self-released her EP ‘Reservation’ in 2012, garnering interest in the young talent from radio stations including Zane Lowe of Radio 1. By the end of 2012, she had received a nomination for the Sound of 2013 poll.
Haze dropped numerous mixtapes in 2012, which created much anticipation for her debut album. Rumours also surfaced that the record would drop in March 2014. Dissatisfied with the release schedules, a frustrated Angel Haze decided to leak Dirty Gold in mid-December 2013 with a lengthy rant on Twitter aimed at Island Records who were behind the release. The young rapper appeared upset over pressure to finish the album but, only to have the date of the release pushed back.
“Ughhhh… So sorry to Island/Republic Records, but f**k you. I got here doing this for my fans and if you guys don’t feel the same, it won’t stop me. Idc what happens after this. They will get the music they were promised. And you guys JUST MAY LEARN TO KEEP YOUR F**KING WORD.”
The album leak was quickly removed, and the record was then released on 30 December, an earlier than expected date no doubt due to Haze’s actions. But since then, album sales have been poor with the rapper selling only 857 copies in its first week in the UK, leaving many wondering if Haze shot herself in the foot with the leak.
Despite this, Haze has been upbeat about the sales, stating that big numbers were not expected. Haze told Music Week,“[My label said they] didn’t expect it to sell like 15,000 in the first week because I decided to drop it in the last week of December where only heavy hitters make the final sales“.
It sounds as if Haze and the label are hoping that the album will be a slow burner, “They [the label] said, ‘Yeah, your first week sales are going to be s**t but in the coming weeks we’ll see them increase and it’s cool”.
It may well be the case that Haze’s leak has left no incentive for people to purchase the album, which is due to release as a physical copy on the 27th of January 2014. However, the record has also received mediocre reviews. The Guardian stated, “It’s a flawed debut, but it’s also a brave and individual one: its best bits are flatly great, its attempt to harness pop-rap to serious topics is a pretty intrepid move”.
Whether her debut sales increase or not, there is no doubt that Angel Haze has made an impresson on the music industry. Both apparent to hip hop and her label. Lessons will be learnt from this, and we can probably expect her to come back with a hard-hitting sophomore album, not to mention new music that will make amends for her debut sales. Angel Haze is one hard lady as seen with the dispute with her label and will only come back from this fighting.