New York rap veteran AZ recently shared his views on rap’s young elite crew of emcees like J. Cole and Drake and why older artists shouldn’t shun hip-hop’s new blood.
In addition to J. Cole and Drizzy, AZ admitted to being hip to burgeoning star Wiz Khalifa‘s buzz.
“Listen, Drake is kicking it and his flow is what’s needed,” AZ said in an interview with Mikey T The Movie Star. “You got the Wiz Khalifa, you got the J. Cole, you got a couple of cats that are laying it down and they’re trying to keep [hip-hop] alive. You gotta give somebody a chance. You know what I’m saying? The old cats can’t do it forever. You know what I mean? Those [new artists] that are out, I appreciate it.” (Movie Star Status DVD)
In October, rap pioneer DJ Premier gave props to Drake and Cole’s music.
“[Drake] brought lyricism back,” he said of the Toronto-native. “For a 22-year-old man, he brought lyricism back. When [Gang Starr‘s] Step In The Arena came out, I was 22-years-old. And I just thought about it, I was like, ‘D*mn, I was a youngster.’ I wasn’t 30, 31. I was 22 and coming with heat. And that’s why I like that he’s bringing stuff back….J. Cole, I like that he’s bringing lyrics back. Everything doesn’t have to be super, over-lyrical, but we do pride ourselves on cats that can spit, because [rap music] was always a competition about who got the dopest rhymes.” (XXL Mag)
Preemo later defended his decision to co-sign the two emcees and challenged critics to name better artists helping the state of hip-hop.
“To those people who typed that [I shouldn’t have co-signed them,] how many other 22 and 23-year-old that’s out right now that’s relevant, that’s got some lyrics that’s banging or any wordplay for that matter,” Premier said in an interview. “Send them to me or send me their MP3, if it’s banging like that, I’ma play it. I don’t really play Drake on my show, I got a radio show every Friday that breaks underground hip-hop, I don’t play Drake on my show — I like him and what can you say about him that you don’t like? His stage presence had to improve a little bit, he worked on that now. I went to his concert at Radio City. J. Cole is not wack, he’s got lyrics. How can you say that? And then they’re saying ‘How can you not say Joell Ortiz?’ Joell Ortiz has been out for a long time. Y’all are just getting up on it, you late motherf*cker. You’re a computer f*ck, I’m a computer f*ck too but you’re a computer f*ck-hole. Give them a corny name, f*ck-hole, that’s not a name I’d normally say — but put them in the corny box.” (All Hip Hop)
Last month, AZ announced plans to put down the microphone following next year’s release of his Doe or Die 2 solo album.
“I think after [my next album] Doe or Die 2, I’ma wrap it up,” AZ revealed in an interview. “It’s been fun, it’s been fun, I did good. You gotta go out like [undefeated boxer Floyd] Mayweather. Mayweather go out, he’ll jump back in but he’s gonna go out without scars. So I’m cool, I did a good job.” (Movie Star Status DVD)
Check out AZ’s interview with Mikey T The Movie Star below: