Brooklyn-born Anthony Cruz isn't one of the 10 greatest rappers of all time. He hasn't released a platinum record and most of his accolades are due to a relationship with Nas.

However, most critics who know their stuff will tell you that AZ is vastly underrated, and even albums like Illmatic would have suffered had he never picked up the mic.

For that, we celebrate one of Brooklyn's lesser-known MC. Far from underground, but rarely mentioned in the same breathe as Notorious BIG, AZ is one of those cats who floated in the middle of universal acclaim and unknown.

With a strong role on Ghostface Killah's upcoming 36 Seasons record, we figured it's an appropriate time to revisit some of AZ's early dope cuts. From Nas features to solo joints with Pete Rock production, AZ has a great body of work to show for his lengthy career. Let's get in to it.