March 09, 2021

Happy Born Day, AZ! (Playlist)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, AZ is a Grammy-nominated rapper who first came to prominence by appearing on Nas' landmark album Illmatic on the song "Life's a Bitch" (1994)—he was the only guest emcee to appear on that album. After a bidding war, AZ signed with EMI, and soon released Doe Or Die (1995) to more critical acclaim than commercial sales. The album's lead single, "Sugar Hill", became AZ's only major commercial success as a solo artist, reaching the top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and achieving Gold status. AZ's EMI contract was transferred to sister label Noo Trybe Records/Virgin Records when the EMI Label Group was shut down. AZ's fanbase grew considerably after he joined The Firm, a supergroup comprised of AZ, Nas, Foxy Brown, and Nature, with Dr. Dre and The Trackmasters producing. However, The Firm's only album, The Album, was regarded as critically disappointing. AZ has released over a dozen projects over the course of his career, maintaining a smooth, rhythmic cadence; multi-syllable rhyme schemes, internal rhymes, unconventional rhymes, and his vast vocabulary. While commercial success always eluded him, AZ will go down as one of the nicest MCs to emerge from the mid-90s. Below is a glimpse at some of my favorite tracks from AZ's extensive catalog - check it out, and wish him a Happy Born Day today! 

Below are a couple promo items, hit the archives for more...