AZ Shares The Stories Behind 15 Of His Best Verses

“Life’s A Bitch”

Album: Illmatic (1994)

AZ: That shit started a trend. Life’s a bitch when everybody rhyme. Life’s a bitch. Life’s a bitch. We started a whole new movement with “Life’s A Bitch” and that’s how we felt when we first entered the game. “Life’s a bitch and then you die/That’s why we get high/Cause you never know when you’re gonna go.” So, we just gotta live it up. Ain’t no remix on life. You only got one life. Whatever. You know? “Visualizing the realism of life and actuality/Fuck who’s the baddest, a person’s status depends on salary.” Get money and live. Get married. Enjoy life until you sit back home. That’s the paradise.

[Me and Nas] had an energy. I think we both held it and balanced that record out. ‘Cause without him, that record wouldn’t have been what it was. Without me, that record wouldn’t have been what it was. We was speaking the same language, but coming from different angles again. It just meshed so perfect that it got our point across. It got our point across so beautiful with that harmonic balance that really reached the target that we was aiming for.

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  • Ian Piepenbrock

    How are they not even briefly mentioning Canibus’ verse on Desperados? Damn. AZ one of my favourites though.

  • rozenswag

    You had me thinking Life’s a Bitch wasn’t going to make the list. Got me clicking through all 15 though. Well played.


    we movin is that classic az

  • HP

    Before i check Life’s a Bitch or Affirmative Action are number one right?

  • Luke

    “Out of thirty men/ know twenty thats worthy men/ ten is friends/ the other ten’ll probably turn me in” >>>Thats what of my favorite most memorable lines from him. Life’s a bitch is his greatest verse for obvious reasons but seriously AZ has so many great great verses that I dont even know where to start. I just gives props to XXL for even doing this interview I enjoyed hearing all those classic joints again.

    • Luke