Quite a bit of entertainment came from Hip Hop DX’s exceptional exclusive with AZ. If you’re an AZ fan, I highly recommend reading the entire thing.
Having said that, I read it and here are highlights of the interview from most informative to most entertaining:
AZ on the release process of “Do or Die 2”, the much anticipated sequel to 1995 classic:
“I’m gonna see the response I get from this little leak,” he explained of his DOD2 setup plan, “I’ma put another record out [next month], and I’ma keep throwing jabs right now. I know lyrically I’m built for it, I know musically I’m built for it, so we gonna see what turns out.
“I got some people reaching out here and there,” he noted of the interest from the industry, “but I know it’s always about the buzz. So that’s my main goal right now, to get the buzz back poppin’. And for me, I don’t think it’s hard. I’m in the best shape of my life, my hairline is still here [Laughs], and I feel good! I feel like I’m still the people’s choice.”
Here’s the quick version of the relation between Eminem’s “Infinite” and AZ for those who don’t know. It’s 1996 Eminem, so real early in his career, and the delivery/production are odes to AZ’s “Rather Unique”.
Here’s the excerpt on “Infinite” plus another bit about “DOD2:
“Oh wow, nah, I never peeped that, where that’s at?,” replied AZ when asked by HipHopDX on Tuesday (March 27th) if he has ever heard “Infinite.”
Eminem’s monotone and multisyllabic delivery over the Jazz-tinged track for “Infinite” drew its inspiration from AZ’s lyrical exercise “Rather Unique” from The Visualiza’s classic debut album, 1995’s Doe Or Die.
“I know I read something in Vibe where he said that AZ and Nas influenced him,” added Sosa. “And that was a good look. I appreciate that a whole lot.”
“Actually, I’m trying to get some production from him now as well,” he further revealed after being asked if he and Em had ever interacted with one another. “We’ve bumped heads. We have shook hands and saw each other before, but we never really politicked. Yeah, but I definitely need that production from him.”
And finally, the bit about Biggie — who not only shares the same hometown as AZ (Brooklyn) but the same birthday as well (March 9):
Big was the pioneer,” said AZ of his fallen friend. “He from the era … that golden era. And he spoke life, he spoke truth …. And I remember that day [he passed] I was working on Pieces Of A Man and I was standing downstairs at – I forget which particular hotel I was doing the album [at]. I was standing there, it was my birthday and I was waiting for the homies to come and celebrate, and they came early like, ‘Yo! You heard what happened?’ ‘What happened?’ And that shit laid heavy on me, man. Him passing and getting hit up out there in L.A. laid heavy on me. So, my birthday’s a celebration but it’s also a condolence for Big Poppa at the same time.
“Aw man, Big is a funny guy,” added AZ cheerfully when asked for any vivid recollections he has of his encounters with his Crooklyn comrade. “When we did the ‘Dead Presidents’ video with Jay-Z and everybody at the table – He’s a very charismatic brother, very charismatic and funny. He was definitely a gut-buster. We was happy to be living, man – happy to escape the hood.”
Very appropriate love as we approach the 15th anniversary of the Notorious B.I.G.’s passing.
Great piece by Paul Arnold. I highly recommend it.