Ever since the release of her Reservation EP over the summer, the hip-hop world has hailed New York rapper Angel Haze as one of its most original new voices. But even though she’s already built a maverick reputation, none of her fans could have been prepared for the song she’s just released via SoundCloud. “Cleaning Out My Closet,” set to the beat of Eminem’s “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” is a graphically honest account of the horrific sexual abuse that began when Haze was only seven years old. (Survivors and others who are triggered by details of sexual assault should be warned about the track’s frank treatment of those topics.)
“I was confused, I had to prove I wasn’t fucked from the jump/ I was afraid of myself / I had no love for myself/ I tried to kill, I tried to hide, I tried to run from myself,” Haze raps about the aftermath of her abuse. “There was a point in my life where I didn’t like who I was/ So I’d create the other people I would try to become.” For its stark honesty about and intelligent analysis of an all-too-common reality popular music too often glosses over or avoids completely, this might be the most important song we’ll hear all year. Click through to listen to or download “Cleaning Out My Closet,” and look for Haze’s mixtape Classick October 25th.