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Angel Haze on Why You Need To Stop Acting Like A 17-Year-Old

"When you hit a certain age you have to think about what you're willing to sacrifice. Your 20s are about learning to have to do without."

by Angel Haze
Feb 2 2015, 2:15pm

This week, Angel Haze's exclusive Noisey column focuses on the absolute madness of being young. You can read last week's column, on cultural appropriation in hip-hop, here.

The peak of your life is 17-years-old. You aren’t fully responsible for your choices and your fuck-ups, and that is so freeing. You can stay out all night and keep going the next day and your face will still look perfect.

I was horrible when I was 17. I was in a group of girls, and all we cared about was trapping men. We spent all our time hunting out basketball players to date and we called ourselves “trapstars.” It was dark, but it was also fun. That's the thing about being a teenager: you have to understand the world around you, but at the same time, everything just seems like a joke, because you’re young enough to not really give a fuck. You can go out and do the things that you dream about; adulthood doesn’t have anything to do with it. Then you hit 21 and everything changes.

As a teenager, I tried out a lot of different looks because I didn’t really know what I was into. When I was 19, I started making music. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was just fucking around in my room, and I wasn't completely ignorant to it, but I definitely didn’t really understand what my taste was. And I find that growing and going through Reservations, to Dirty Gold, to my new project now, I know more about myself than I have ever known. But it took a lot of growing, trialling and all that other shit to get here.

That’s true of my social life as well. Personal growth happens when you’re not surrounded by people who keep you stagnant. That happened to a lot of my friends. I’m 22, which isn’t old, obviously, but now when I wake up, I ask myself, "Am I doing what I want to do for the rest of my life?" And if I can’t say yes to that, then I consider making changes. A lot of other kids in their 20s don’t have that state of mind right now. They’re still figuring out what they want to do. I’ve been the 17-year-old kid for the past five years and now I’m just like, fuck it, I want to do something for myself. I want to make sure that I can wake up and live the way I want to live.

A video posted by raeen roes (@angxlhxze) on

Angel Haze does a great impression of a 17-year-old.

Imagine there are five aspects of life: work, relationships, family, friends and, maybe, yourself. It’s impossible to have all those things going well at the same time. You can maybe nail three and the other two will suffer. Personally, as someone who has a really weird relationship with their family, I feel like when my head is going well and my love life is going well, there’s always something else that isn’t. When you hit a certain age you have to think about what you're willing to sacrifice. At this point, do I need love more than I need family? Is love going to give me exactly what I want? It’s all about learning to have to do without.

We’re the generation of doers and makers. Our parents’ generation inspired us to branch off and plant new trees. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I don’t want to be the same thing that my family was. When you’re 20-something you want to do what the fuck you want to do. Fuck shit up. Do as much wrong as you do right. That way, when you’re thirty and you’re going through your midlife crisis, you’ll be happy with all the shit that you did when you were young. You’ll have stories, you’ll have memories, and you’ll have good feelings about it.

My mom had a ton of dreams. As a kid, she wanted to be a nurse, she wanted to do all these different things and then she ultimately ended up doing daycare and hating her job. And my dad is God-fucking-knows-what. So it’s one of those things where, if you come from that situation, you just like nah, fuck that.

Your 20s are a time to live. Like any sort of art, music, or anything you think about, life also needs to be thought about. You have to approach things from an angle which you’ve considered literally and you’re going to do what’s best for yourself. I don’t waste time panicking. I get depressed sometimes, but I feel like that’s just the nature of my life and all of my energies come by way of me. I put out what I want and I get back what I ask for. Your twenties are spent either feeling like you’re a god damn superhero and you’re the best thing that the world has ever experienced, or you’re feeling like the super villain and everything you do is wrong and stupid. I think I’m very much like the hero.

I want to do so many things. I want to fly around the world with a jet pack. I wanna make a shit load of music so there’s always this constant reflection of what I am. I want to look on my wall and see pictures and tracks and things that mean something and were part of my evolution as a human being. I want to look back and know that I fucking did what I wanted. Nothing more, nothing less.

I think a lot of the disdain I have for my 20s is because this is the era of my life in which I’ve had to learn the most. Everything is so much more visceral. You’re dealing with things on your own, you’re figuring out your life, and it feels like you’re more than ever. I think it’s just a matter of growing and understanding that you’re sort of alone in the world. It sounds really depressing, but it's true; in your 20s, it’s your responsibility if you fuck up.

Angel Haze is on Twitter.