AZ Is More Than A Rapper


of AZ's rhyme and

reason is concerned with paper chasing, but the New

York City-based Dominican-American mic-controller less

conspicuously kindles an interest in fossil relics,

artifacts,and monuments.

"I'm very interested in archaeology, especially

Egyptology, stuff like that," AZ told

during a meet-and-greet reception. Chicagoland's music

industry rank and file showed up at The Epitome restaurant,

which hosted the event, in the historically African-American

Bronzeville district on the city's Near South Side.

The event was part of a promotions campaign for his

newest LP Nine Lives (Motown), which was released

Jun. 12 and entered the Billboard R&B Charts, moving

over 56,000 units in one week.


studied it in high school. I might go back to school

to learn about it." Nine Lives is the first

LP of a three-album deal AZ signed with Motown in January,

after A&R's at the legendary urban label caught

an earful of a personal tape of his recorded rhymes

that was widely bootlegged on New York City's streets.

AZ spends much of the current album's 14 tracks instructing

heads on making and keeping money.

The guest

rhyming and production appearances include Trackmasters,

Timbaland, up-and-coming Dream Team, Foxxy Brown, Joe,

Beanie Sigel, and

Amil. AZ has already completing filming two music videos

for the album, including one for the first single "Problems"

and another with Joe for the second "Everything's


AZ and Motown

are working toward getting him on a national tour in

connection with the album's release. "It's hip-hop,"

AZ said, explaining Nine Lives eclectic sound.

"It's more street, more underground than overground."