Guest Star: "The Game Changes Itself. This Might Definitely Be My Last Album"

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 3:30PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

[With New York rap veterans like Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Jay-Z still performing at an elite level well into their 40's, former The Firm member AZ gives SOHH readers his thoughts on hip-hop in 2013 and his solo for dolo plans.]

Going from a major to independent, it's two different zones. I went from a major and then I went to an independent. I was doing independent from like '05 and it's a lot of work and then every few years, the game changes itself. This [Doe or Die II] might definitely be my last album.

On the mixtapes, I'm good. The mixtapes are definitely good and they really help the albums. That's like a blueprint that I can follow but I don't want to always follow. I can put an album out and then a few freestyles. I don't like to necessarily put out mixtapes but this time, I might try.

I might put a mixtape out and then put an album out because this is the last hurrah for me. I've got a couple of cats that are ready to come out behind me and I've got a good starting team and so I'm just going to play the game.

I actually never lost [my hunger] to be honest. It was just a matter of the stars lining up and the doors opening and that certain sound coming back into existence. I've just been waiting in the cut and you know how it is when somebody's just waiting on the drop, just waiting for the target.

So, that's all it's been. I've appreciated all of the Kendrick Lamar's and Nas is doing his thing coming back. You've also got Raekwon and a couple other cats from my era, they're still doing their thing which is great.

That just means there's an audience out there which means hip-hop is alive.

I pen most of my music within the city, I don't move around too much. I've got two great studios right here in the city and I don't move around too much unless I'm going on vacation or I'm touring.

2013 is going to be a fun year. I know what I've already got sitting and I know what I'm still coming up with so it's going to be beautiful musically. Everything is looking up.

I feel good it's an audience waiting and I know that I'm going to be able to deliver. Guaranteed.

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. After a slew of solo efforts, AZ is currently putting together his long-awaited Doe Or Die II LP.

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