AZ Talks Rock the Bells, Working With Nas and New Music

Speaking of magic, how’s the process been so far regarding the producers and label situation?

We’re still working on the producers and I’m not even worried about the home because I know once the album is done, I’m definitely getting a home. That’s my last worry right there because that independent lane is always open to get a distributor. As far as if I want to get back on the major, that door’s open as well. My whole focus is getting the album done and creating that spark and magic again, get everybody riled up and show my worthiness of being in the position I’m in. That’s my whole focus now.

Will it have the same mafioso vibe as the first?

Nah, [because] that was for that time.  This one is gonna be from a wiser, hustler’s perspective. Just a hustler and making power moves and making money.  That’s what all the focus is on, Doe Or Die II.

Could Nas possibly be making an appearance?

Everything is possible. You got a lot of goodies like we’re trying to bring a whole lot of things to the table. For that question, imma say guaranteed he’ll be on that. For a song on Doe Or Die II, I could guarantee that.

There was a rumor a couple months ago about you and Statik Selektah doing an album together. Is that true?

Nah, but I definitely want Statik on [Doe Or Die II].  I love Statik’s music; he got that hip-hop sound.  When I’m coming under that umbrella of Premier, he got that sound and I definitely want him on the album.

How do you feel about what all these new artists are bringing to the table?

The new ones are the future so I appreciate it.  Big up to Wale, I like what he doing and he loves the culture. We need the young cats to preserve the culture and keep it going.  This is our voice for the streets, our voice for the youth. All the artists that’s coming up doing their thing, man, just stay doing it, stay sharp, and just preserve this culture right here.

How do you feel about the current state of lyricism?

It’s coming back and a couple cats is bringing it back.  For the last couple of years it was about getting your hustle on and making moves, it wasn’t really about the art of it. Which I can’t be mad at because this is a business. But, it is a culture and this is what we do so, it’s a good thing that a lot of cats are bringing lyrics back to the table. Everybody gotta get their sword sharp again so, I appreciate it.

A couple months ago Fabolous released his own version to “Mo Money, Mo Murder, Mo Homicide,” alongside Vado and Lloyd Banks titled “Mo Brooklyn, Mo Harlem, Mo Southside.” Did you hear it?

Yeah, it was nice.

How’d you feel about it?

They definitely was showing homage and I appreciate it.  All three of them lyricists, being from New York City, I was like, “Yeah!”  I was waiting to hear that. Like I said, they preserving the culture and that’s what its all about. Big up to all three of them.

Whatever happened to that “Hey AZ” record you dropped for your 1998 sophomore album, Pieces of A Man?

When we was getting ready to put it out and shooting the video, that’s when EMI closed.  They were going through financial difficulties and had to shut down. So, that record was out there and it didn’t really get the push that we wanted and it was right in the middle of us shooting the video so, we just threw that out there.  In the process of EMI going through that, that’s when Puff and ’em came out with the Mariah remix so, it was like you know what we not even gonna throw our energy into that. Let’s keep it movin’. So, that’s what happened.

Wow, things got real complicated.

[Yeah] that was like a crazy time in my career ’cause me just getting in the game and witnessing how the music business shift and shake, you know what I’m sayin’, a lot of people fall and it kind of hurt a lot of people . But, the strong survive through them times. That’s just like with life itself. When you move and certain things hit you from left field, it’s how you maintain and get up from that and keep it moving shows the true quality of a person. So, it is what it is at the end of the day.

With Doe Or Die II dropping soon, are you going to release any singles to hold the fans down?

I’m just moving accordingly, man.  I have nothing planned but, if push come to shove I should be dropping something just before the year is out to let them know its coming. The calm before the storm.

Besides the album, anything else we can expect within the next couple of months?

Well, right now its just working with my boy [Nas], working with my joint, and I got a few artists waiting for me to kick the door in and then we’re gonna bring everything to life.

It’s still Quiet Money Records right?

Quiet Money for life. I aint going nowhere with it. I started it and imma end it, Quiet Money!

  • YOM

    Peace to the big homey AZ yo!
    Reppin’ the culture of hip-hop and last but not least reppin’ the East New York section of Brooklyn!
    Getting that “Doe or Die 2″ & still rock “Aziatic”.

  • diz

    nice little article. waiting for some more of that good music. AZ is definitely underrated.

  • nnamdi

    Great article! Still bumpin’ doe or die 15th anniversary until the album!

  • http://ghrap.com illbig

    peace king……

  • Down South G

    Been bumpin dis cat since way back!! Highly respected in da South. Love his music!!

  • hudes

    always has, and always will be my favorite MC.
    a true artist. you must listen to his lyrics a few times otherwise they flying right over your head. that’s how ill he is.

    AZ! come back to T DOT i missed rock the bells due to being locked down with house arrest. Make that trip again next year g.

    PEACE

  • T-Mat

    Peace God….No doubt. Keep putting out that good music A and best believe I’m copping it. Favorite MC of all time.