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AZ
Birth name Anthony Cruzinstine
Origin East New York, Brooklyn, New York
Genres Hip hop
Occupations MC, rapper
Years active 1992–present
Labels Virgin, Motown, Koch,
Associated acts Nas, The Firm, Cormega, Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Premier, Half A Mill, Begetz
Website www.doeordie2.com

Anthony Cruz, better known as AZ is an American rapper[1], best known for being a long time rhyme partner of Nas and being a member of hip-hop super group The Firm alongside Nas, Nature (rapper) and Foxy Brown. AZ is known for his strong New York accent, multi-syllabic rhyming pattern and deep content based on Five Percenter theologies.

AZ first came to prominence by appearing on Nas' landmark album Illmatic on the song "Life's a Bitch" (1994)—he was the only guest emcee to appear on that album. After a bidding war, AZ signed with EMI, and soon released Doe Or Die (1995) to more critical acclaim than commercial sales. The album's lead single, "Sugar Hill", became AZ's only major commercial success as a solo artist, reaching the top 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. AZ signed with Motown/Universal Records and released 9 Lives.[1] 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.[1]

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.[1] He released his 4th and 5th studio albums A.W.O.L. and The Format in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Then Undeniable was released in 2008.

As of October 2009, he is working on his 10th studio album titled Doe or Die 2 to be released in early 2010.[2]. He hopes to enlist the original production team to Doe Or Die such as L.E.S., Pete Rock, DR Period & Buckwild. He has even confirmed a couple of tracks with Pete Rock, including "Rather Unique Part II". AZ also has ambitions on trying to nab beats from DJ Toomp, Dr. Dre & Kanye West for DOD2 including reaching out to his old rhyme partner Nas, also according to his Twitter he has requested a beat from RZA as well and plans on releasing the album by May or June 2010.[3]

Contents

Discography

Studio albums

Collaboration albums

  • The Firm: The Album (with The Firm) (1997)

Compilation albums and Mixtapes

Appearances

References

External links








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