About AZ

Best known for what some consider among the best verses on Nas’ legendary “Illmatic” is NYC-native AZ. The creative lyricist began his music career in 1992 and first gained mainstream attention when he laid down a classic verse on the track “Life’s a Bitch” on “Illmatic”. He released his debut album “Doe Or Die” in 1995 that featured his biggest commercial song “Sugar Hill”. To date, AZ has released eight studio albums as well as a collaborative album with supergroup The Firm and various other projects. “The Essence”, a single featuring Nas from his 2002 album “Aziatic” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

Over the course of his career, he has collaborated with many noteworthy artists and producers, including Nas, Dr. Dre, Foxy Brown, Buckwild, DJ Premier, Heatmakerz, Fizzy Womack, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, M.O.P., Statik Selektah, Nottz, Ray J, Styles P, and many others.

In 2013, he said he was among the greatest rappers to come from Brooklyn. In terms of upcoming music from AZ, he has been working on his ninth studio album “Do or Die 2”. It has been in the works for a while now, and though there is no official release date yet, expect it to drop in 2014.

Facts Only

  • He had supposedly been working on a collaborative album with Nas called “The Essence”, but it has never been released.
  • He is considered a legend in underground rap and is considered to be one of the most underrated rapper of all time.
  • He appeared in the 1998 film Belly that starred Nas, DMX, and Method Man.
  • He used the word “schweppervesence” on “Life’s a Bitch”, and later said that he remembered the word from a commercial he watched as a kid.
  • He was influenced by rappers including Kool G Rap, Rakim, and Slick Rick.


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