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AZ - The Come Up (Prod. By DJ Premier)
AZ - The Come Up (Prod. By DJ Premier)
Published: 2011/10/21
Channel: HipHopLivesToday
AZ - No Fucks Given Zone & Being Connected To The Most High (247HH Exclusive)
AZ - No Fucks Given Zone & Being Connected To The Most High (247HH Exclusive)
Published: 2017/05/01
Channel: 247HH.COM
Rapper AZ Tells Why He Never Left His Heart In Brooklyn #BLX
Rapper AZ Tells Why He Never Left His Heart In Brooklyn #BLX
Published: 2016/03/09
Channel: BETNetworks
AZ- Sugar Hill
AZ- Sugar Hill
Published: 2008/05/18
Channel: ccspence8
AZ - Problems
AZ - Problems
Published: 2009/06/16
Channel: AZVEVO
Best Rapper BY LETTER (A-Z)
Best Rapper BY LETTER (A-Z)
Published: 2017/12/17
Channel: ISAIAHthePLAYAH
AZ - Doe Or Die (Full Album)1995
AZ - Doe Or Die (Full Album)1995
Published: 2015/08/28
Channel: Andrew H
AZ - Save Them ft. Raekwon, Prodigy of Mobb Deep
AZ - Save Them ft. Raekwon, Prodigy of Mobb Deep
Published: 2017/06/13
Channel: AZVEVO
AZ - We Movin (Explicit)
AZ - We Movin (Explicit)
Published: 2013/05/24
Channel: AZVEVO
The Firm - Firm Fiasco -- Rap -- AZ, Foxy Brown, Nas
The Firm - Firm Fiasco -- Rap -- AZ, Foxy Brown, Nas
Published: 2012/01/18
Channel: REALSHITT H
A+Z feat AZ
A+Z feat AZ
Published: 2008/04/14
Channel: icecoldbruh
PHOENIX AZ RAPPERS - Ridah & Rich Rico Feat. Chicano John - Kane & O-Dog
PHOENIX AZ RAPPERS - Ridah & Rich Rico Feat. Chicano John - Kane & O-Dog
Published: 2014/07/19
Channel: Young Ridah
EFRESH IM SO ARIZONA DIRECTED BY: ARIZONA INF
EFRESH IM SO ARIZONA DIRECTED BY: ARIZONA INF
Published: 2013/02/19
Channel: E Fresh
PHOENIX ARIZONA RAP - MOEDOLLA AND FORCE (MEXICANZ)
PHOENIX ARIZONA RAP - MOEDOLLA AND FORCE (MEXICANZ)
Published: 2016/04/07
Channel: HTS/BLACKATIRE MUSIC
AZ - Street Life
AZ - Street Life
Published: 2008/06/27
Channel: Dante Smith
DJ Forgotten - No Option ft. AZ (2017)
DJ Forgotten - No Option ft. AZ (2017)
Published: 2017/01/29
Channel: DJ Forgotten
Rapper AZ Exposes Illuminati & New World Order
Rapper AZ Exposes Illuminati & New World Order
Published: 2016/03/03
Channel: The Vigilant One
AZ - Wanna Be There
AZ - Wanna Be There
Published: 2008/07/30
Channel: lvskshyne
What
What's the One Thing That Scares Brooklyn Rapper AZ? #BLX
Published: 2016/03/09
Channel: BETNetworks
PHOENIX AZ RAP - Young Ridah - Kill em All (Music Video)
PHOENIX AZ RAP - Young Ridah - Kill em All (Music Video)
Published: 2012/02/16
Channel: Young Ridah
PHOENIX AZ RAP - Street Life - Young Ridah Feat. Mav & P-Thoro (Welcome 2 The Zone)
PHOENIX AZ RAP - Street Life - Young Ridah Feat. Mav & P-Thoro (Welcome 2 The Zone)
Published: 2011/08/07
Channel: Young Ridah
Best Rap Album BY LETTER (A-Z)
Best Rap Album BY LETTER (A-Z)
Published: 2018/01/17
Channel: ISAIAHthePLAYAH
AZ - The Format (Prod. By DJ Premier)
AZ - The Format (Prod. By DJ Premier)
Published: 2009/08/31
Channel: HipHopLivesToday
Phoenix Arizona Rappers Devastation "No Glok" feat Trap House & Swuahmullik Da Curse
Phoenix Arizona Rappers Devastation "No Glok" feat Trap House & Swuahmullik Da Curse
Published: 2015/04/08
Channel: Thug Style Devastation
Nas feat A.Z. - Life
Nas feat A.Z. - Life's A Bitch
Published: 2007/09/11
Channel: myclef9
AZ Rap City 2002
AZ Rap City 2002
Published: 2012/11/12
Channel: tetertan
Az  bi bol rapper
Az bi bol rapper
Published: 2016/05/14
Channel: R Az
AZ Underdog Cypher (TRT, Dela Preme, I-Dee, Eddie Wellz, Ardy)
AZ Underdog Cypher (TRT, Dela Preme, I-Dee, Eddie Wellz, Ardy)
Published: 2015/02/16
Channel: Trackhouse Studios
the best chicano rap out of arizona.
the best chicano rap out of arizona.
Published: 2016/04/02
Channel: Mr.Dreamer Lokon
AZ Speaks on How Jay-Z Was in High School on Sway in the Morning
AZ Speaks on How Jay-Z Was in High School on Sway in the Morning
Published: 2013/06/10
Channel: Sway's Universe
Phoenix AZ Rap hip hop Anthem Rapper Mav mentions 160 AZ mcees
Phoenix AZ Rap hip hop Anthem Rapper Mav mentions 160 AZ mcees
Published: 2015/09/11
Channel: mav solcamp
#20YRSLTR Premieres Featuring Rapper AZ
#20YRSLTR Premieres Featuring Rapper AZ
Published: 2016/05/18
Channel: BETNetworks
AMAZING TONGUE TWISTER RAP (I bet you can
AMAZING TONGUE TWISTER RAP (I bet you can't say this!!!!)
Published: 2014/02/20
Channel: Mac Lethal
PHOENIX AZ RAPPERS - Ridin Low - Ridah & Rich Rico Feat. Lisa Fine
PHOENIX AZ RAPPERS - Ridin Low - Ridah & Rich Rico Feat. Lisa Fine
Published: 2015/03/09
Channel: Young Ridah
YAS - Az Chi Begam |OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO|
YAS - Az Chi Begam |OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO|
Published: 2011/10/24
Channel: persianrap1
Nas feat AZ & Kool G Rap - Funeral Parlour (Unreleased)
Nas feat AZ & Kool G Rap - Funeral Parlour (Unreleased)
Published: 2007/10/18
Channel: myclef9
Kc Rebell disst alle Deutsch Rapper von a-z
Kc Rebell disst alle Deutsch Rapper von a-z ''X '' für xatar
Published: 2015/05/10
Channel: Abdul Gattuso
PHOENIX AZ RAPPER - Ride & Die In The PHX - Young Ridah - Feat. Lisa Fine
PHOENIX AZ RAPPER - Ride & Die In The PHX - Young Ridah - Feat. Lisa Fine
Published: 2012/06/22
Channel: Young Ridah
Best Rappers From A-Z
Best Rappers From A-Z
Published: 2017/11/28
Channel: King Andis
PHOENIX AZ RAPPERS - Good Die Young - Ridah Feat. Rich Rico, Trap, and Lisa Fine (REAL MUSIC)
PHOENIX AZ RAPPERS - Good Die Young - Ridah Feat. Rich Rico, Trap, and Lisa Fine (REAL MUSIC)
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: BorderGangTV
Phoenix Arizona Rap-Madoxx- Like MJ (Music Video)
Phoenix Arizona Rap-Madoxx- Like MJ (Music Video)
Published: 2017/02/10
Channel: Madoxx King
Rapper AZ talks about Ghostwriters (06/17/15)
Rapper AZ talks about Ghostwriters (06/17/15)
Published: 2015/08/26
Channel: JustRaw5
Kool G Rap Ft AZ - Holla Back
Kool G Rap Ft AZ - Holla Back
Published: 2009/03/07
Channel: ShamrockHipHop
AZ - Rap Fanatic
AZ - Rap Fanatic
Published: 2008/10/08
Channel: xbigeL13
Bpzy/ Baby Paul On AZ: "He
Bpzy/ Baby Paul On AZ: "He's The Most Underrated NY Rapper"
Published: 2015/05/28
Channel: WatchLOUD
Phoenix Arizona Rapper Thug Style Devastation "MONEY"
Phoenix Arizona Rapper Thug Style Devastation "MONEY"
Published: 2016/06/09
Channel: Thug Style Devastation
Back To Arizona - AZ Rappers Push Back on Immigration Bill
Back To Arizona - AZ Rappers Push Back on Immigration Bill
Published: 2010/05/07
Channel: The Final Call - Uncompromised News & Perspectives
PHOENIX AZ RAP - Get That Pay - Young Ridah Feat. WC of Westside Connection
PHOENIX AZ RAP - Get That Pay - Young Ridah Feat. WC of Westside Connection
Published: 2011/06/05
Channel: Young Ridah
Papoose feat. AZ and Kool G Rap - Thug Connection
Papoose feat. AZ and Kool G Rap - Thug Connection
Published: 2007/06/27
Channel: FranchizeBoi05
drinking rap music phx 602 az  phoenix
drinking rap music phx 602 az phoenix
Published: 2007/03/21
Channel: mobus2012
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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AZ
Az-03.jpg
AZ in New York, 1998
Background information
Birth name Anthony Cruz
Also known as The Rap James Bond, The Visualizer, Sosa
Born (1972-03-09) March 9, 1972 (age 45)
East New York, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Genres East Coast hip hop, mafioso rap
Occupation(s) Rapper
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1992 - present
Labels
Associated acts The Firm, Nas, Foxy Brown, Cormega, Nature, Ghostface Killah

Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972), better known by his stage name AZ, is an American rapper born in Brooklyn, New York. He is known for being a longtime and frequent music partner of Nas, and also a member of hip-hop group The Firm alongside Nas, Foxy Brown, Cormega and Nature. In a countdown of the 10 Most Underappreciated Rappers—Most Underrated Rappers of All Time, the editors of About.com listed AZ as #1 on the list. [1] He was also included on About.com's list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), where he was described as "arguably the most underrated lyricist ever. He is of African-American and Dominican descent."[2]

AZ in Hamburg, Germany in 1997

AZ first became known by appearing on Nas's landmark 1994 album Illmatic on the song "Life's a Bitch", as well as featuring vocals on the opening track The Genesis. AZ signed with EMI, and soon released his debut album Doe Or Die in 1995 to critical acclaim. The album's lead single, "Sugar Hill", became AZ's major commercial success as a solo artist, reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and achieving Gold status. AZ's EMI contract was transferred to sister label Noo Trybe/Virgin Records when the EMI Label Group was shut down.

In 1997, AZ and Nas appeared in a Sprite commercial. Also in 1997 the group The Firm with AZ, Nas, Nature, and Foxy Brown, released their only album as a group, The Album. The album featured production from well known producers such as Dr. Dre and the Trackmasters and generated much hype. The group disbanded after just this one album. In 1998 AZ released his second solo album, Pieces of a Man. The album fared well but did not chart quite as well as his debut and did not feature a crossover single like "Sugar Hill". The same year AZ made a cameo appearance in the movie Belly starring Nas, DMX, and Method Man.

After this album's release, AZ signed with Motown/Universal Records and released 9 Lives.[3] In 2002, he released Aziatic. A single from the album, "The Essence," (featuring Nas) was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.[3] In 2004 AZ was planning on releasing his would-be 4th studio album, Final Call, however, it was eventually scrapped due to heavy leaking and released as Final Call (The Lost Tapes) in 2008.[3] He released his 5th and 6th studio albums A.W.O.L. and The Format in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

In 2015, AZ self-published and released a Book titled Jewels, Gems & Treasures. The release got the proper respect and sales that lead AZ to prep on shooting a mini movie based on the book to be released late 2017. Also in 2016 AZ teamed up with B.E.T. to release his 20-year anniversary Documentary narrated by Rakim; which included Nas, Raekwon, Foxy Brown, Pete Rock, Premier and others.[4]

Career[edit]

1995–2001: Doe or Die, Pieces of a Man and 9 Lives[edit]

Doe or Die was released October 10, 1995 on EMI Records. The album features guest appearances by artists such as Nas and Miss Jones, and production from N.O. Joe, Pete Rock, L.E.S., and Buckwild, among others. Upon its release, Doe or Die received notable commercial success. The album peaked at #15 on the Billboard 200, and #1 on the U.S. Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Doe or Die was known for popularizing the theme of mafioso rap, alongside several albums, namely Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt and Nas's It Was Written. Doe or Die produced several singles, including, "Mo Money, Mo Murder, Mo Homicide," "Gimme Your's (remix)," "Doe or Die" and "Sugar Hill" - which was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1995.[citation needed]

Pieces of a Man is AZ's second album. The album was highly praised for its complex and insightful lyricism. The first single was supposed to be "Hey, AZ" featuring SWV. That song uses the same sample as Mariah Carey's song "Honey," "Hey, DJ" by the World-Famous Supreme Team. Both were released in summer of 1997. After the release of the album, AZ left the label. 9 Lives peaked at #23 on the Billboard 200 and #4 on the Top Hip Hop / R&B Albums. The leading single, Problems, with its accompanying music video, reached #34 on the Hot Rap Singles.

2002–07: Aziatic, A.W.O.L. and The Format[edit]

Aziatic is considered AZ's comeback album, which restored his credibility, which gave AZ youth and new life to his production.The album features AZ's flow and style over melodic, soulful production. It featured a duet between AZ and long-time friend and collaborator, Nas, "The Essence", which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group.[5] The album was mostly well received by critics, one such positive review from Brad Mills at Allmusic, states: "AZ has been looked upon to do amazing things with his music. Has he lived up to those high expectations on this album he has from start to finish. The beats on this album are complex, inventive, and almost perfectly suited for AZ's style of rhyming. He's carefully crafted this album rather than slapped it together overnight to meet his quota, and it shows. It helps immensely that he's brought along people like DR Period, Az Izz, Nas, and Buckwild, but they don't outshine the younger AZ as he holds his own well. AZ has come up with his best work in a long time on this album."

A.W.O.L. was released on September 6, 2005. It was recorded after Final Call, which AZ declined to release because his label had pushed its release back two months—according to him, they were also the source of its early leak to the press and the internet. Garnering critical praise with production from highly regarded New York underground acts such as DJ Premier, Buckwild, and DipSet production duo the Heatmakerz, the rapper abandoned his previously money-oriented subject matter, stating that he "wanted it to be all street.[citation needed] A.W.O.L. is the first AZ album which was released on his own Quiet Money Records imprint. In a couple of months after the release, A.W.O.L. 1.5, which included a bonus disc featuring a cappella and instrumental versions to the songs on A.W.O.L., was released.[citation needed]

The Format album features production from Fizzy Womack (better known as Lil' Fame of M.O.P.), Face Defeat, Emile, J. Cardim, Phonte, Statik Selektah and DJ Premier. Guest appearances are provided by M.O.P., Little Brother, as well as artists on AZ's new label, Quiet Money Records. The album's lead single is its title track, "The Format", produced by DJ Premier, with "Vendetta" as its B-Side. The Format also features the bonus track "Royal Salute", a retaliation to 50 Cent's song "What If", which included a line aimed at AZ. On October 7, 2007, Quiet Money released The Format (Special Edition) adding six bonus tracks including "Royal Salute."

2008–present: Undeniable, Legendary and Doe or Die 2[edit]

Undeniable was released on April 1, 2008 through Quiet Money and Koch Records. The album debuted at number 141 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling over 25,000 copies in its first week. In October 2009, AZ confirmed he was working on his ninth studio album, entitled Doe or Die 2. He hoped to enlist the original production team from Doe or Die such as L.E.S., Pete Rock, DR Period & Buckwild. He had confirmed a couple of tracks with Pete Rock, including "Rather Unique Part II". AZ also had ambitions on trying to acquire beats from DJ Toomp, Dr. Dre & Kanye West for the album, as well as reaching out to his old rhyme partner Nas.[6] The first single from the album is entitled "Feel My Pain", produced by Frank Dukes.[7] In 2010, former member of Da Beatminerz, Baby Paul, confirmed he would be producing for the album and serving as executive producer.[8] On November 30, 2010, he released a 15th anniversary edition of Doe or Die entitled Doe or Die: 15th Anniversary. In 2010, Dr. Dre and Kanye West were said to be too busy to produce for the album, but AZ said he was patiently waiting for them to complete their next solo records so they can join the production team. He was also seeking production from DJ Premier.[9] During a 2011 interview with XXLMag, AZ confirmed that Nas would be featured on the album.[10]

On March 27, 2012, AZ released the first street single from Doe or Die 2, entitled "My Niggas", which features production from longtime collaborator, Buckwild.[11] As of April 2012, a third quarter 2012 release was expected. AZ had not managed to secure tracks from Dr. Dre as he previously wanted, but was going through the album's second half of selections for its productions. He was still seeking production from both Eminem & DJ Premier, but has tracks from Statik Selektah, Baby Paul and the original Doe or Die team of beatsmiths L.E.S., DR Period, Pete Rock & Buckwild.[12] AZ was heavily featured on Ghostface Killah's 2014 album 36 Seasons.[13]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums
Collaboration albums

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adaso, Henry (June 3, 2010). "10 Most Underrated Rappers". About.com:Rap/Hip-Hop. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Top 50 MCs of Our Time: 1987 - 2007 - 50 Greatest Emcees of Our Time". Rap.about.com. January 26, 2012. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c allmusic Biography
  4. ^ "#20YrsLtr Feat. AZ's Doe or Die [Watch the Full Documentary]". Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "2003 Grammy Award Nominees Announced". Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ Arnold, Paul W (December 22, 2009). "AZ Wants Dr. Dre, Kanye West And Nas For Doe Or Die 2". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on December 25, 2009. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Preview - AZ-Feel_My_Pain_(Prod_Frank_Dukes)-.mp3". LimeLinx. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  8. ^ Paine, Jake (June 3, 2010). "Producer Baby Paul Talks AZ's "Doe or Die 2", New Projects | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  9. ^ Arnold, Paul W (October 4, 2010). "AZ Reveals Details Of "Doe Or Die: 15th Anniversary Edition" | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Nas Will Appear on Doe or Die II, AZ "Guarantees"". Xxlmag.Com. August 31, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  11. ^ "AZ "My Niggas" (prod. by Buckwild) by clockworkmusic on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free". Soundcloud.com. March 26, 2012. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  12. ^ Arnold, Paul W (March 29, 2012). "AZ Discusses Eminem's "Infinite," His Unfinished Tracks With Nas And "Cristal Competition" With The Notorious B.I.G. | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Archived from the original on January 22, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ http://hiphopdx.com, HipHopDX -. "Ghostface Killah "36 Seasons" Release Date, Tracklist, Production Credits & Album Stream". Retrieved 30 March 2017. 

External links[edit]

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