Tuesday, February 5, 2008

AZ: Vivid Visualiza

AZ speaks candidly about Nas questions, says he's better with time, and breaks down bars from his new album, Undeniable.

His multisyllabic style has influenced even legendary emcees (see: Eminem’s onetime AZ-esque flow on 1996’s “Infinite”), and his cocksure cool delivery and demeanor may have arguably been more influential to the New York Hip Hop scene over the past dozen or so years than the swagger of any of his rotten apple rap peers. There’s no need to debate his worth, what AZ has brought to the game is simply undeniable.
While he might not have ever been able to enjoy the commercial success of Biggie and Jay-Z, the fellow Brooklynites he sat at the table with in ’95 as a respected equal in Jay’s “Dead Presidents” video, he is deserved of the same respect.
Unfortunately, rap fans read Soundscan, and the perception they form from it of who’s hot and who’s not becomes the reality artists must reside in. And although his debut single, 1995’s “Sugar Hill” went gold, the classic album it was featured on, Doe Or Die, inexplicably failed to net a plaque, and therefore the light shining on AZ’s commercial career grew dimmer with each subsequent release. While his next three solo efforts (1998’s Pieces of a Man, 2001’s 9 Lives, and 2002’s Aziatic) all came close to going gold, save for 1997’s group effort with Nas, Foxy Brown and Nature, The Firm: The Album, AZ has essentially remained off of mainstream rap’s radar for a decade.
Thankfully, for fans of one “Rather Unique” emcee, AZ hasn’t given up and called it quits simply because he never attained the same chart positions of B.I.G. or Jay, or even Nas, the man who introduced AZ The Visualiza to the masses on 1994’s classic collabo, “Life’s A Bitch.” Instead, Anthony Cruz has soldiered on, destined to leave a lasting legacy of great music behind. A legacy he will continue adding onto in March with the release of his seventh solo effort, Undeniable [click here to listen to album sampler]. And in a surprisingly candid conversation with HipHopDX, AZ explains why he must establish his own musical legacy without the assistance of his onetime partner-in-rhyme, how he may have some competition on the mic emerging in his own family, and most importantly why he’ll never, never, never, stop giving us that “Uncut Raw.”


[Source: HipHopDX.com > Features - Posted by FreeAutoBlogger]