People like to refer to AZ as one of the most underrated MC’s of the past two decades, and in the time since his appearance on “Life’s a Bitch” (Illmatic’s only feature) it’s safe to say that the New York rapper hasn’t really gotten half the attention that most expected him to. He popped up on that lame ass Firm album, and he rapped on plenty of Nas’ mediocre LP’s over over the years, but AZ never really got his due — and at 41 years old, it’s safe to say he never will.
Regardless, 1995’s Doe or Die is a classic no matter how forgotten it’s become. Since that gritty debut, AZ’s discography offers a relatively mixed bag. He’s always worked with some great producers and there are plenty of killer tracks to filter through on Youtube, but AZ has never put together another solid long play and again, he likely never will.
But collaborations like “We Movin” with producers like Statik Selektah are exactly the appeal of AZ at this point. Give the man a soulful beat and he’ll go in, like he always has. AZ’s voice has preserved itself remarkably well (the dude still sounds 20 on this track) and his flow has shown no signs of age. “We Movin” is 100 percent smoothness, and AZ tears it up in a way that sounds utterly effortless. Songs like this make me hope that AZ gains a little bit of focus. All he needs is a good beat and that’s pretty much all Selektah ever does — provide good beats. Check it out below.
Below are some of my favorite AZ tracks that any fan of hip hop should love.