Of the many fabled rappers that have hailed from Brooklyn, AZ might be the most overlooked. When great Brooklyn emcees are the topic, the usual suspects are The Notorious B.I.G., Jay- Z, Big daddy Kane, amongst others. Rarely is AZ ever brought up and that is seemingly how he prefers it, having given himself the moniker “AZ Quiet Money.”
AZ — whose rise to notoriety came from his classic guest-verse on Nas’ magnum opus debut-LP, Illmatic — has mastered a rare skill in a profession that is filled with ubiquity and hubris. The art of playing the background and biting your time. It also helps that as a famed lyricist, AZ has laurels to rest on.
Which is why it comes as no surprise to see the “Sugar Hill” rapper tease the sequel to his platinum-selling debut, Doe or Die,on his own accord. In an Instagram post which features a teenage picture of AZ and Nas, the caption reads “We been cooking up since 94 & We still cooking.,, Doe or Die 2 Coming soon!”
Although talks of a sequel to his debut can be traced as far back as 2015 (the album’s twentieth anniversary), there seems to be a re-invigoration from the “Mo Money, Mo Murder” rapper, having released a new record — “Found My Niche” — and an accompanying music video earlier this year.
A return album would be AZ’s first since 2009’s, Legendary. The “Firm” rapper (along with close associate, Nas) has gained a reputation for a specific style of rap. While gangster and mafioso Hip Hop ruled the mid-1990’s, AZ’s claim to fame was that while he was from the areas where great dangers lied, his records weren’t always in first person and oftentimes portrayed stories from the neighborhood. In addition, AZ’s knowledge of self and higher learning has always made him a favorite among hip hop connoisseurs, making a possible release to Doe or Die 2,much anticipated.