In Stores Now!!!
From Life’s A Bitch to Sugar Hill, AZ has blazed us with tracks for years. If you listen to an AZ record you get the distinct feeling that you are listening to the words of a man who speaks from experience and intellect rather than imagination. His seventh studio LP Undeniable released on April Fools Day regaining skill recognition. AZ is back in business and ready to show the world how sharp his sword really is this time around. As an accomplished MC and businessman he is comfortable describing himself as Hip Hop’s underdog. While AZ doesn’t receive acknowledgment in spins as far as videos and radio concerned like some of his early counterparts including Jay-Z and Nas, to those in the now… his name is still mentioned in the same breath as some of today’s greats. AZ takes a moment out to talk about his LP release and highlights of his livelihood in music.
V: Sitting in front of me is a legend in the game who really needs no introduction AZ what up!
AZ: What’s up everybody on the Mutha fuckin’ site ya dig? Brooklyn what’s going on, New York of course. You know we worldwide! I’m reppin’ New York all day! I aint going nowhere man! This is the 8th joint Undeniable, I’m just trying to get it poppin’.
V: The 8th album Undeniable in store now. Everyone reading should own a copy. Hip Hop needs album sales and legal downloads.
AZ: Been in stores since April fools but it’s not a joke! The 8th album, bangers going zig, zag, zig, up, down, left right… I’m still doing what I do! Regardless of the home or what. It’s still going down period!
V: What’s really good witchu though? What you been up to?
AZ: I mean you know just doing what do I went from the majors to the independence. The transition of the game going down crazy. I’m trying to figure out the independent game right now. I dropped the album independently 06′ AWOL; this is the second go around right now.
V: How has the independent game treated you against what you had with a major record label?
AZ: It’s a good thing but it’s still hard work. You got to know what you are doing and how to invite people. It sounds good but then you still have to put that work in and on top of that there’s still tricks and trades of that game. They know we naive to the independent game so they pulling their tricks early in the game but it’s a good look. Hands on and you learn as you go along with everything else.
V: So… Undeniable want to tell us a lil bout the title and the album?
AZ: I’m not saying that the other albums were denied but this one I felt like IM a big boy right now and I’m touching on all topics. I’m just trying to sketch my name in the legacy of Hip Hop that all man.
V: Ummm did you not hear me introduce you to our readers? Lol. I don’t like you have to try ma dude. It’s been done for a minute now.
AZ: Ok well, I feel I want to try to put the cherry on top.
V: Who else you got on your album?
AZ: You know what. I did it like the 90’s. I just bring myself to the table so the fans can get a look at me. I got Styles P on there. I got Ray J on a joint cause me and Ray J did a street movie 4 years ago or whatever and it’s getting ready to surface. He over there at Koch.
V: It’s just surfacing now? Any other videos we should know about? Lol. You team up with ray jay you know you got to be camera ready. Any chance Kim’s in that video?
AZ: Wow. Hey he can pass that. For real and she look all right.
V: O k. Even though she’s considered damaged goods? Lemme stop. We just playing people.
AZ: Long as she keeping herself together she can pass.
V: Back to business… anyway. From Life’s a Bitch to the new joint…
AZ: I had a little run. I seen the up’s and down’s you know been there from the big era wit Pac and all of that. I came in the game when a couple cats after that did it then, they went back and brought new cats. The game twisted from here to there so I’ve been there.
V: You’ve seen a lot of eras of music along wit kats who came and went…
AZ: And there’s more to come.
V: What do you take from the game now? You on your grind once again sitting back wit ya fam choppin’ it up. What is your perception from all of your experience and looking in on the game as well, what is your view and is there anything you want to say to the artists out there today trying to make it or that are in the game and not holding there plate yet expect recognition from the people?
AZ: Oh yea it’s a dirty game man. If I had known the game off top I would have… You know, had pieces on the board to move around but I came in just a kat off the street wit a lil money and was getting ready early in the game. Royalties, not publishing cause I was always on top of publishing I aint gonna lie I learned from other kats behind that. The game was dirty man and it still is. Right now it’s the ringtone thing and downloads but I think that’s a better look at the end of the day cause you can sell a lot. A lot of guys are selling 3 million downloads. It’s a lot of money. A good look. The game has changed its good bringing the kids to the table. A lot of dancing, snapping.
V: You aint wit the dancing and snapping? What you think a bout that style?
AZ: I’m grown but right now we need some substance. You got to feed them. Lil jewels here and there not Preacher Earl or nothing but some jewels for those who still in the streets doing what they do. Its time for ya’ll to get some guidance cause its going crazy. The game done went crazy.
V: Did you realize when you were in the studios and on high demand in the 90’s how sick your skillz really were?
AZ: I was just in the zone. I was fresh off the streets I didn’t know anything. I was speaking from my soul. We was high as the sky in that mutha fucka, drunk as skunks. We was out of it. It’s was over.
V: I just want to touch on the situation with you and Nas. I hear rumors of a future collaboration or did that already happen? The last time we heard from ya’ll was a few years ago like 02’.
AZ: Listen, at the end of the day I think we did a joint on another album called The Essence. It didn’t make the album but it was crazy. I mean the doors open. I’m here. I know he’s in another place and I’m here.
V: Phone Tap part II and shit. That’s what we need for real.
AZ: It would be serious. I’m here though.
V: You can’t call it but the doors open. Ya’ll still cool though right?
AZ: If there were beef you’d know. Beef aint quiet no more. No bad blood but he’s there and I’m here.
V: You got any joints on ya album that will appeal to your female fans?
AZ: Go Getta with Ray J. What it do.
V: Do you understand the impact you had on the game? Some kats can get overlooked but when you got a fan base all over the country and certain parts of the world do you feel the action you put on the game?
AZ: Yea guaranteed. I was in the golden area at the time everybody was poppin’ off.
V: I just don’t think its right you fell it from the fans but when it really comes down to it the legends fade as a memory and then you got these commercial radio stations that don’t want to play your shit unless they get enough phone requests for that airplay.
AZ: You know what it’ a music business at the end of the day they just want to see numbers and that’s it. Can’t be mad at it.
V: I’m saying though but give artists like you a chance to prove yourself. It’s been a hot minute and that recognition is not being made. You put up them numbers.
AZ: Listen Imma keep it coming. I’m not stopping I don’t know about anybody else, Imma keep it coming.
V: What’s next, what else can we expect from AZ going forward?
AZ: I’m trying to put it together a little independent movie out my pocket. I’m getting ready to shoot it. Putting a little soundtrack with it. I got a couple of kats that I want to bring to the table so we going to put that together and have some fun. Hopefully that will be out July August. I’m just gonna keep it coming.
V: Word so another album another year. More hits on the way keep doing ya thing. I’ve been a firm believer since Do or Die and I’m sure I’m not the only one. We appreciate good music and artists like you that have been the industry for a minute grinding. Don’t stop man. We bout to be out of here though any thing you want to tell your fans before we go.
AZ: Undeniable in ya stores. Myspace.Com/AZOfficialMyspace go do that. At the end of the day I check it periodically so I will be checking it if you reach out.