Brooklyn rapper Fabolous recently gave props to fellow borough rhyme spitter and hip-hop veteran, AZ, citing his flow plus witty wordplay as assets for any successor emcees to admire.
In Fab’s eyes, the original Firm member still does not get the respect he deserves, even though he’s been rhyming for almost two decades.
“I grew up listening to AZ and Nas, you know, he’s one of the lyricists that I feel doesn’t get a lot of recognition, but I know a lot of people listened to him coming up,” Fab said in an interview referring to AZ. “His word play and the way he made words rhyme was particularly how I [modeled my word play]. I always paid attention to anybody who raps in a similar format, similar approaches to styles. Salute [to] AZ. I seen [him] a couple times in the supermarket, we both live in the same kind of neighborhood. I don’t want to disclose where he lives– I really don’t know where he lives — but, I seen him out at the supermarket before.” (XXL Mag)
Earlier in the year, AZ crowned himself as SOHH Underrated.
“At the end of the day, I just feel like I’m really underrated. Everybody should have AZ on their Top 5 favorites of all-time. Right now I’m cool with it. Before, people would say “this” is their best emcee or “that” is their best emcee for whatever reason. I always knew I could hold a sword up against them. I always felt like I was very competitive, but nowadays, it’s more like it’s a hustle, it’s a grind.” (SOHH Underrated)
In early August, AZ hinted at an upcoming rap game takeover courtesy of him and Nas.
“Friends become strangers just to destroy an rebuild… Nas u think they ready? D*mn the rap game is about to get a face lift!!! I’m reloaded,” he tweeted August 4th. (AZ’s Twitter)
In December, the rapper reflected on Nas’ relevance in hip-hop.
“He’s legendary in the game, that’s my man,” AZ said in an interview with Mikey T The Movie Star. “Everything is a blessing. Like I said, just being here and doing what I’m doing is a blessing. And you know with the work that Nas put in, it’s self-explanatory, it’s my boy. I mean that’s him, you always seen he was going that route. He’s for the peoples, man. We all go through our lives and journeys and people pick different paths and I think that’s a good path. We need it out here.” (Movie Star Status DVD)
Check out some past AZ footage below: