Anna Sterling: Tell me about your journey into hip-hop.

Miss Haze: I’ve always been super drawn to crazy, lyrical, melodic people like Joni Mitchell when I was little. In middle school, I got involved with Youth Speaks. It was the first place I really felt that was a beloved community for me. That was my family. I was able to go to a bunch of the Brave New Voices poetry slams. I went to one in Los Angeles, New York and D.C where we protested in front of the White House. It’s this crazy energy. There’s a cipher everywhere– that’s where I learned to cipher, downstairs of a New York laundromat, banging on the laundry machines. It was beautiful.

I started rapping in high school. It started off as drunken nights with my homegirls. We had this little crew called Galaxy. We’d freestyle all night with 40s at Dolores Park doing crazy off the wall songs.