“AZ has been” pretty unique “since he rushed into the scene with one of the greatest debut poems of all time in” Life a B **** “.
A Brooklyn-born Grammy-nominated MC, his signature wordplay, silky smooth flow, and complex lyricism make him one of the true legends of hip-hop.
AZ swept the world of hip-hop with its debut album in 1995 Doe Or Die. The LP became platinum and featured the classic cut “Sugar Hill,” which peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1997, he co-founded the supergroup The Firm alongside Nas, Foxy Brown, Cormega, and later Nature. The group’s only album is now Platinum.
During his illustrious career, AZ has released over 10 studio albums, made numerous guest appearances, performed around the world and continues to improve over time.
I caught up with Sosa and talked about the Boroughs of New York City having the best MC, why he feels underrated, the pros and cons of music streaming, and his new album. Doe Or Die II.
Globe: I’ve heard a lot about this, and I’m glad I finally got the answer from you. Is it true that you, JAY-Z, Notorious BIG and Busta Rhymes attended the same high school in Brooklyn?
AZ: I went to Eli Whitney, I went to JAY-Z, but it was shut down. I think it was then that Jay went to Washington Irving and George Washington. Busta and Biggie were there. They closed the school and then everyone moved to another place.
Globe: I always wanted to ask someone of your height this question. Will Brooklyn win if there is a fight between all MCs in each New York province?
AZ: It’s difficult because there are so many great artists. Growing up, I love LL and he was from Queens. I love Kane and he was from Brooklyn. I love Kool G Rap and he was from Queens. Did you know later that Rakim was from Long Island? So it wasn’t about the autonomous region, but about the quality of the work that many artists contributed, but Brooklyn had some great MCs.
Globe: You, Kane, Jay-Z, Biggie, Basta, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Lil’Kim, Foxy Brown will be a difficult match for everyone.
AZ: Haha! Maybe you’re right.
Grove: No doubt you are a certified hip hop legend. But with all your achievements, do you sometimes feel underestimated and underestimated?
AZ: Yeah, do I definitely feel the underestimation you know? When it comes to skills, I can dance with the best of all of them. Sometimes it’s just about marketing and promotion. You can have some great water, but if you don’t sell it right, no one knows it’s there. So I think it’s underestimated.
Grove: At the time, one of my favorite kick pairs when I was a kid was Patrick Ewing’s. You recently collaborated with Ewing Athletics to commemorate Do Or Die’s 25th anniversary. How did that partnership come about?
AZ: At that time, everyone loved Ewing. We loved Ewing, we loved Jordan and everything of his time, and I always loved fresh shoes.I knew the 25th anniversary when Ewings approached me about sneakers Doe Or Die It came out, so it was a perfect timing man. It was a great way to celebrate the album and the Ewing brand. Called “Sport Life X AZ”, these are hot sneakers.
Grove: We also found that Sosa Beverages will soon be dropped.
AZ: I was so absorbed in fine wine that I decided to bring it to the table. I started Sosa Beverage. I start with moscat and sparkling wine, and we’re going to have some fun.
Grove: In your experience, what are the strengths and weaknesses of music streaming?
AZ: Like everyone else, when streaming was pretty new, I was really trying to figure it out. I’m used to selling CDs, before that I was selling cassettes, and now I’m streaming. I think the advantage of it is that everyone can do it themselves now. All you have to do is set up your youtube page and set up your TikTok, you and everything connect to one hub, do you know what I’m saying ?? Social media connects the world, and streaming makes it honestly much better.
Gloves: What I like Doe Or Die II It’s an album that makes you feel nostalgic for the original Back Wild and Pete Rock, but this album is a showcase of your evolution as an MC and as a man. What was the creative process like?
AZ: Twenty-five years later, the fact that there were seven or eight albums in the meantime knows you’re growing very much. It took a long time as I was preparing for this as Sonic switched between the Midwest and the South. I wanted to get it out, but everything was very switched. So I started rocking in around 2017 and 2018, but there was still a gap and I had been waiting for a long time so I started releasing songs. But when the COVID hit, it really was like it is now. So when we were all hibernating during the quarantine and knocking out most of them, I was really trapped. This year I’ve done the rest and I’m here.
Gloves: Your debut Doe Or Die It’s an unmistakable classic. Did you feel the pressure to make a sequel?
AZ: There is no pressure. I wanted to do it because when we first signed the deal, when we first entered the game, you saw it and said you had to deliver 9 albums It was. When I found out I liked it, “I didn’t even get over the first one.” For artists who have been in the game for a while, it’s like completing 360, and we want to make that sequel. There is no contract, but in my opinion I have overcome it. This is the 10th time. The 11th album. Let’s do two more. I’m ready.
Grove: I know you love them all, but which song on the album is your favorite?
AZ: Leave it at 100. I created it from top to bottom, so I like the whole album. I like them all because each song brings out a different life and a different zone from me. So I love them all. They were carefully selected and made like watches. It’s a classic man.
Grove: I love the “Never Enough” hook.
AZ: “Never Enough” is great. Lil Wayne was obsessed with “rituals”.
Grove: Is there anyone who hasn’t worked with hip-hop or R & B but wants to collaborate?
AZ: Wow. I would like to call it JAY-Z just because I love games. I think it’s a good thing to get things done. But I want to work with a singer like Anita Baker, and definitely Stephanie Mills.