If you grew up an 80s or 90s baby, you are probably feeling the obvious creative slump in Hip-Hop. Luckily there are some talented newcomers from all markets keeping things fresh as well as those who have been rocking the mic since first day. Case in point Mr. Sosa himself, AZ.
The man behind the classic Nas collaboration Lifes A Bitch from Illmatic is back to nourish the game with more knowledge on his latest release Undeniable (Koch). Though he hasnt earned as much notoriety as his once partner in crime and fellow Firm cohort, he has put out a number of slept on albums and his current project attests that he is very much loyal to his craft and not in it solely for fame and fortune.
The twelve track LP starts off with the laid back The Game Dont Stop and AZs signature fluid verses are ever apparent (The game wont stop / Til the player get knocked / Or the sh*t flip flop / And you sittin on top). The piano and cymbals carrying the beat takes you back to his single Pieces Of A (Black) Man from the album of the same name back in 1998.
The premise of this album is typical for the MC. Laid back mellow beats with story-telling lyrics. On the old school sounding Life On The Line, he spits his autobiography and why hes still in the game.
He makes reference to his former collaborator saying Nas got rich aint reach back, I aint riff yet. With the insinuation that he has no qualms of not being put on at the same level, its refreshing not to have to listen to an entire album overshadowed by throwing dirt on anyone else and allowing you to focus on his capacity.
Other notable mentions include the horn intense What Would You Do featuring Jay Rush, the melodic Go Getta featuring Ray J. Produced by Large Proffesor The Hardest featuring Styles P. transcends into a more up-tempo hidden track.
AZ certainly proves with this album, as with previous efforts, that he is very much deserving of the title of one of the greats who hasnt made it to mainstream superstardom. The younger Hip-Hop generation may not be able to vibe with his choice of melancholy beats, but if they want to hear from an MC whose lexis actually makes a bit of sense, they should definitely take note.
AZ Featuring Ray-J