AZ is not a household name that you hear people mention when it comes to Hip Hop. One day I was on twitter and I tweeted “if you don’t know who AZ is stop listening to rap” and this one girl replied back with “AZ meaning Arizona? I live there of course I know about it”, right then and there I knew these young kids didn’t know anything about rap. Some older people still don’t know who he is either which is sad because in the 90s was when AZ made his mark as one of the best lyricist of all time. You can’t really blame people for not knowing who he is because the radio don’t play real shit they just wanna play music with a catchy hook and a nice beat. Now to get your music heard all you need is a nice repetitive beat by Lex Lugger, Young Chop etc. (No disrespect to their craft) or a hook which contains autotune.
AZ first came onto the scene in 1994 on Nas track “Lifes A Bitch” and did surprisingly well if not better than Nas on his own track,not many have done that or have yet to do it other than AZ and that says a lot. Right that instant people started talking about AZ and his debut album “Doe or Die” was highly anticipated just off the verse on Nas album, the only feature at that which says a lot coming from arguably the greatest rapper of all time (Nas). Then October 10, 1995 the highly anticipated Doe or Die drops and AZ doesn’t fail to deliver, the first single off that joint was “Sugar Hill” that’s the perfect summertime track and he released during the summer so that got a lot of airplay. The only feature on the album was Nas on “Gimme Yours” which is arguably one of the greatest tracks of all time. At times i listened to dude spit and i sat there like what is fam saying, real shit his vocabulary and wordplay were ridiculous he could rhyme so many words together and it actually sound hot and have a meaning behind it. Doe or Die went up to 15 on the billboard top 200 and number 1 on the R&B and Hip-Hop albums.
This album is timeless you can go back and listen to it to this day over and over, sad part about is that if it gets airplay now in 2012 people would think he’s a new artist. If you haven’t listened to this album go make sure you listen to it its top 5 best Hip-Hop/Rap albums ever and AZ is top 3 lyricists ever behind Rakim and Nas (top 2 no particular order). Go listen to it, cop it do something but just listen to it and stop saying “hip hop is dead” when you can still listen to music like this.