AZ

Born in Brooklyn as Anthony Cruz, AZ first came to the greater rap community’s attention in a big way after his stellar performance on Nas’ “Life’s A Bitch” in 1994. Given AZ’s similarity to Nas and the overwhelming response to Nas’ Illmatic album, it was just a matter of time before AZ would score a record deal, a feat he accomplished in 1995.

The resulting debut album, Doe or Die, shook the New York hip-hop scene as Nas’ Illmatic and Mobb Deep’s Infamous had done shortly before it. Like those albums, Doe or Die reveled in the street life- hustling for cash, peddling drugs, violent encounters, mandatory boasting, struggling daily just to maintain- but took a literate and thoughtful approach to the often exploitative gangsta motifs. Furthermore, like Nas, AZ had Pete Rock crafting the beats, which won the young rapper instant credibility among the hip-hop community.

 

Artist Bio on Wikipedia

 

Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972, in Brooklyn), better known as AZ is a Grammy-nominated American rapper of Dominican & African American descent. He is known for being a long time and frequent rhyme partner of Nas, and also a member of hip-hop group The Firm alongside Nas, Foxy Brown, Cormega and Nature.

In a countdown of the 10 Most Underappreciated Rappers—Most Underrated Rappers of All Time, the editors of About.com listed AZ as #1 on the list.[1] He was also included on About.com's list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), where he was described as "arguably the most underrated lyricist ever."[2]

 

AZ first became known by appearing on Nas' landmark 1994 album Illmatic on the song "Life's a Bitch", as well as featuring vocals on the opening track The Genesis. He was the only guest feature to appear on that album. AZ signed with EMI, and soon released his debut album Doe Or Die in 1995 to critical acclaim, but meager commercial success. The album's lead single, "Sugar Hill", became AZ's only major commercial success as a solo artist, reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and achieving Gold status. AZ's EMI contract was transferred to sister label Noo Trybe Records/Virgin Records when the EMI Label Group was shut down. In 1997, he and Nas appeared in a Sprite commercial. Also in 1997 the group The Firm with AZ, Nas, Nature, and Foxy Brown released their only album as a group, The Album. The album featured production from well known producers such as Dr. Dre and the Trackmasters and generated much hype, but was generally viewed as a disappointment. The group disbanded after just this one album. In 1998 AZ released his second solo album, Pieces of a Man. The album fared well but did not chart quite as well as his debut and did not feature a crossover single like "Sugar Hill".

After this album's release, AZ signed with Motown/Universal Records and released 9 Lives.[3] In 2002, he released Aziatic. A single from the album, "The Essence," (featuring Nas) was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.[3]

In 2004 AZ was planning on releasing his would-be 4th studio album, Final Call, however, it was eventually scrapped due to heavy leaking and released as Final Call (The Lost Tapes) in 2008.[3] He released his 4th and 5th studio albums A.W.O.L. and The Format in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Then Undeniable and Legendary were released in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

 

Celebrities, Artist, Models, Comedians, Personalities

The Music Group celebrity booking agents have years of experience in securing and booking the perfect celebrity for your next Event. Our Staff is highly skilled in negotiating and offer unbiased opinions providing suggestions on finding the perfect celebrity for your marketing strategy.

Design by Derrick 360 Media - Ph. (678) 381-4713
Top
Control Panel