Brooklyn-bred rapper AZ is considered one of the greatest yet most under-appreciated lyricists to ever bless the mic. Widely known as the one who stole the show on Nas’ “Life A Bitch,” Sosa has had his fair share of hits throughout the 1990s. He’s been in this game for years and it shows in memorable tracks such as “Sugar Hill,” “The Format” and “Desperados.” What’s more, his chart-topping debut, Doe Or Die, established him as a well-respected MC in his own right. Now, AZ is preparing to release Doe Or Die II, with hip-hop heads on the edge of their seats waiting for it. But first, he’s whetting our appetites with the second installment of his Last Of A Dying Breed series, which dropped Tuesday.
“That mixtape, it’s not too many freestyles, but it’s records that I know a lot of people overlooked,” he says. “I wanted to pick songs off all my albums that I know that was overlooked but was great. And let the audience really grasp it and [be like], ‘Oh shit, now I get it.’”
With another incredible run on the horizon, AZ sat down with XXL to share the thought processes behind 15 of the top verses from his career. He talked about rhyming from the perspective of a young kid trying to come up out of the projects, and also touched on his relationship with Nas and building up the anticipation of his new album with “Movin’ On.” Read on to hear some classic stories straight from the rap legend himself.—Imani McIntyre & Eric Diep (@E_Diep)