Legendary Brooklyn rapper AZ recently sat down for an extensive interview in which he touched on Eminem's first independent album "Infinite" and the fact that 'Em was inspired by his style. He also spoke in detail about his rap relationship with long time friend Nas and what they have planned for the future. And lastly, he touched on the career of the Notorious B.I.G. and why he never got to work with him.
On the track "Infinite" (which is also the title of the album), a young Slim Shady rapped to a majestic, Jazz-styled instrumental and the melody in his voice was of a similar style to that of AZ's. Eminem had caught inspiration for that particular song from AZ's track "Rather Unique" which was featured on his debut album Doe or Die.
When asked if he ever heard the track, AZ said no, but did recall reading about it some time before.
"I know I read something in Vibe where he said that AZ and Nas influenced him," he stated. "And that was a good look. I appreciate that a whole lot."
The New York rapper, who is currently working on Doe or Die 2, also expressed his interest in receiving production from Eminem and possibly Dr. Dre, going back to their days with The Firm.
"Actually, I'm trying to get some production from him now as well. We've bumped heads. We have shook hands and saw each other before, but we never really politicked. Yeah, but I definitely need that production from him."
AZ has also been searching for labels who would be willing to link up with him and his Quiet Money Recordings label to further promote the sequel to his classic album when it's completed.
"I got some people reaching out here and there. But I know it's always about the buzz. So that's my main goal right now, to get the buzz back poppin'. And for me, I don't think it's hard. I'm in the best shape of my life, my hairline is still here, and I feel good! I feel like I'm still the people's choice."
The Brooklyn rapper then spoke on his long time friend and collaborater, Nas, and that they've certainly got some things brewing for the fans who've been down with the duo over the past decade.
"Me and Nas been on the road a little bit. We done did the Rock The Bells. We just came back from that South by Southwest. I know he just wrapped his album up. ... And I think the time has come now for us to really put together what the world's been waiting for. We did a couple of – I can't even throw that out there, I don't wanna throw certain s--- out there, but it's gonna happen. Put it like that: it will happen. We got some unfinished joints lingering around. So once they signed, sealed and delivered - the ideas is laid down already, so ... I ain't gonna reveal [if one of the joints will appear on Life Is Good] but the ideas have been laid down already. That I can definitely say."
Lastly, AZ touched on his time spent with the Notorious B.I.G. and how certain things occured during that time that prevented him and Big from working together. He also shed some light on what it means to have been born on the day that Biggie passed away.
"Big was the pioneer. He from the era ... that golden era. And he spoke life, he spoke truth .... And I remember that day I was working on Pieces Of A Man and I was standing downstairs at – I forget which particular hotel I was doing the album. I was standing there, it was my birthday and I was waiting for the homies to come and celebrate, and they came early like, 'Yo! You heard what happened?' 'What happened?' And that s--- laid heavy on me, man. Him passing and getting hit up out there in L.A. laid heavy on me. So, my birthday's a celebration but it's also a condolence for Big Poppa at the same time."
He then spoke on some of the times he and Big spent together, even playing a game of Monopoly while drinking.
"Aw man, Big is a funny guy. When we did the 'Dead Presidents' video with Jay-Z and everybody at the table – He's a very charismatic brother, very charismatic and funny. He was definitely a gut-buster. We was happy to be living, man - happy to escape the hood."
"By the time it was over everybody was drunk. Everybody was drinking. We was having a Cristal competition, who can drink the most Cristal back-to-back. I was gone. I think they had to carry me out. I was bent, so I can't even tell you who won."