Rising rapper Angel Haze releases her new mixtape Classick today and one song in particular is drawing a lot of attention because of its raw honesty and emotional power. On the song "Cleanin' Out My Closet," which borrows the beat from Eminem's song of the same name, Haze reveals in detail how she was sexually abused for years beginning at the age of seven.
"This might get a little personal, a lot, actually," Haze says in a disclaimer at the beginning of the song. "Parental discretion is advised."
Over the track's four and a half minutes, Haze describes being raped in a basement and in her own bed by an unnamed predator who went on to make a habit out of the sexual assaults. She explains myriad unsettling physical and psychological effects that the attacks had on her, including thoughts of suicide, anorexia and even her attraction to women.
In an interview yesterday with The New York Times, Haze said that the song was the most difficult she had ever written.
"This is one of the most honest songs I have ever done in my entire life, and I was extremely nervous to put it out because of that," she said. "I’m anxious, because I don’t know what the response is going to be. I don’t know how crazy it’s going to sound. I literally bared my soul there. So it’s a giant step for me, and hopefully it helps a lot of people."
Haze said she made the song both to exorcise some of her own personal demons as well as to inspire others who have been through difficult circumstances.
"My ultimate goal was to let go of all of it, the things that kind of haunt me in a way," she said. "I know it’s important in music to be honest with who you are, because this world is so full of lost kids who go through the same thing I went through, whose end result is ultimately suicide or drugs. And they don’t know they are strong enough to get through it. They don’t have an example. Too many people are afraid to say, 'This happened to me and look what I did with it.'"
You can listen to "Cleanin' out My Closet" here. Classick is scheduled for release later today.
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(Photo: John Ricard / BET)