Angel Haze returns today with the highly-anticipated project Back to the Woods. Stream the 13-track effort in full below.
Though it had previously been billed as a mixtape, the Detroit-born MC notes that it’s a “project,” “something I wanted to share before my sophomore.” Anchored by acclaimed singles “Impossible”, “Babe Ruthless”, and “Moonrise Kingdom”, it serves as the follow-up to both their full-length debut, 2013’s Dirty Gold, and their impressive run of “30 Gold” cover songs.
As opposed to Haze’s first LP, which featured a slew of co-writers and producers, Back to the Woods was primarily penned by Haze and produced by Tk Kayembe. It’s also self-released, following a split with Island/Republic Records (if you’ll recall, unhappy with their major label situation, Haze prematurely leaked Dirty Gold.)
In a recent interview with XXL Mag, Haze spoke at length about the title and what it means to them:
“Well, it’s called Back To The Woods. When I was a kid, I grew up homeless a lot. I didn’t have a home that belonged to me until I was about 17, and it was located in Virginia in the middle of these woods. And my mom, she used to get really pissed off at me. There’s one instance in particular when I wanted to go to New York and pursue my shit and she basically told me, ‘Take off everything I bought you and get the fuck out.’ So I was in the woods naked and I slept there. It’s the only place in my life I’ve ever felt entirely safe. Like I belonged there.
The woods, yo, it protects you and it nurtures you and it provides for you in ways that people can’t. I’ve lost myself there, but I’ve found pieces of myself. I cried. I never cry in front of anyone; I never cry until I hit the trees, you know? I was supposed to do a show in Sweden and I was basically stuck in Virginia because I hadn’t been back since I was 19, 20, and I went to the woods and I just lost it. I had like a proper meltdown. It’s the only time I feel like I’ve been purified. And I miss being able to be honest with myself in that way where I don’t worry about who I’m inconveniencing with my emotions. The woods is that place for me. So, that’s why I called it Back To The Woods, because now my music is about how I feel, about how I am actually and what I’m letting go and nobody can take that shit from you once you find it. That’s what the record’s about.”
Purchase a copy of Back to the Woods here.
Back to the Woods Tracklist:
03. On Fire
04. The Wolves
05. Moonrise Kingdom
07. Dark Places
08. The Eulogy
10. Babe Ruthless
13. The Woods