AZ (rapper)

AZ (rapper)

Infobox musical artist
Name = AZ

Img_capt =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Anthony Cruz
Alias = The Visualiza
Born = birth date and age|1972|3|9
Origin = East New York, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Instrument = Emceeing, piano/keyboard, synthesizer, drums
Genre = Hip hop
Occupation = MC, Rapper
Years_active = 1992–present
Label = EMI, Virgin, Motown, Koch, Quiet Money/Fastlife
Associated_acts = Nas, , Cormega, Wu-Tang Clan

Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972 in East New York, Brooklyn, New York), [ allmusic Biography] ] better known as AZ, is an American rapper currently residing in Englewood, New Jersey. AZ is a member of hip-hop group .

AZ first came to prominence by appearing on Nas' landmark album "Illmatic" on the song "Life's a Bitch" (1994)—he was the only guest emcee to appear on that album. After a bidding war, AZ signed with EMI, and soon released "Doe Or Die" (1995) to more critical acclaim than commercial sales. The album's lead single, "Sugar Hill", became AZ's only major commercial success as a solo artist, reaching the top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and achieving Gold status. AZ's EMI contract was transferred to sister label Noo Trybe Records/Virgin Records when the EMI Label Group was shut down. In 1997, he and Nas appeared in an Sprite commercial.

AZ's exposure grew considerably after he joined , a supergroup comprised of AZ, Nas, Foxy Brown, and Nature, with Dr. Dre and The Trackmasters producing. The Firm's only album, "The Album", was regarded as critically disappointing. "Pieces of a Man", AZ's second solo release, didn't sell well. Independently, AZ released "S.O.S.A." to little fanfare in 2000. Soon, however, AZ signed with Motown/Universal Records and released "9 Lives".

In 2002, he released "Aziatic". A single from the album, "The Essence," was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The video to its first single, "I'm Back," received moderate MTV2 play. After nearly 3 years since he last album, "Aziatic" was released, AZ was going to drop "Final Call" in 2005. A lot of people thought this would be his last album because of the title but that wasn't the case. It got pushed back multiple times and heavily bootlegged until it was scrapped. Instead, "A.W.O.L." was released on September 6, 2005.

AZ's sixth solo album "The Format" , was released on November 7, 2006. Since "The Format", AZ has released a mixtape titled "The Memphis Sessions" and a J-Love mixtape titled "The Return of S.O.S.A." [ [ J-Love song tracklistings ] ] His latest album "Undeniable" was released on April 1, 2008.



*"Doe or Die"
**Released: October 10, 1995
**Singles: "Gimme Yours"/"Uncut Raw", "Sugar Hill"/"Rather Unique", "Sugar Hill (Remix)", "Doe or Die"/"Mo Money Mo Murder "Homicide"
*"" (with The Firm)
**Released: October 21, 1997
**Singles: "Firm Biz", "Phone Tap"/"Five Minutes to Flush"
*"Pieces of a Man"
**Released: April 7, 1998
**Singles: "Hey AZ"/"Sosa", "What's the Deal"/"Trading Places"

*"S.O.S.A. (Save Our Streets AZ)" (EP)
**Released: 2000
**Singles: "I Don't Give a Fuck"/"Love Me in a Special Way"

*"9 Lives"
**Released: June 12, 2001
**Singles: "Everything's Everything"/"At Night", "Problems"/"I Don't Give a Fuck"

**Released: June 11, 2002
**Singles: "I'm Back", "Wanna Be There", "The Essence", "Take it Off"

*"Final Call"
**Unreleased: Made in 2004

*"Decade 1994–2004"
**Released: October 12, 2004

**Released: September 6, 2005
**Singles: "The Come Up"/"Magic Hour", "Still Alive"/"New York", "AZ's Chillin'"/"Never Change"

*"The Format"
**Released: November 7, 2006
**Singles: "The Format"/"Vendetta"

*"The Memphis Sessions" (Official mixtape: Remixes over Al Green-inspired beats)
**Released: 2007

**Released: April 1, 2008
**Singles: "Life On The Line"/"The Hardest", "Undeniable"/"Fire"


*1992: "Understanding" Nas "Pre-Illmatic Demo Tape"
*1994: "The Genesis", "Life's A Bitch" Nas "Illmatic"
*1995: "Wake Up Show Anthem" With Big L, Chino XL, Doug E. Fresh & Masta Ace Sway & King Tech "Wake Up Show 2"
*1996: "A+Z" A+ "The Latch-Key Child"
*1996: "When The Cheering Stops" With Zhané, Ray Buchanan & Scott Galbraith (from "NFL Jams (Import)")
*1996: "Lady [DJ Premiere Remix] " D'Angelo "Lady 12"
*1996: "Album Intro", "Affirmative Action" With Foxy Brown & Cormega Nas "It Was Written"
*1996: "La Familia" Foxy Brown "I'll Be 12""
*1996: "I Miss U [Come Back Home Remix] " Monifah "Moods... Moments LP/ Miss U 12"/You 12""
*1996: " [Something About You (New Edition song)|Something About You [Darkchild Remix] " New Edition single
*1998: "Head Over Heels [Trackmaster's Remix] " Allure "Head Over Heels 12""
*1998: "Rock Me [JD Remix] " V.A. "Caught Up OST"
*1998: "Promises" With LaTocha Scott Of Xscape & Ray Buchanan (from "NFL Jams (Intersound)")
*1999: "Let's Live" With Animal The Union "Hard Labor"
*1999: "24/7 [Remix] " Kevon Edmonds "24/7 12""
*1999: "Thug Connection" With Kool G Rap Papoose "Alphabetical Slaughter 12""
*2000: "Takin' Ova Da Streets" The Bleach Brothers "Takin' Ova Da Streets 12""
*2000: "Groove On [Remix] " Half-A-Mil "Groove On 12""
*2000: "Quiet Money" Half-A-Mil "Million"
*2000: "Quiet Money [Blood Money] " With Animal & Half-A-Mil The Union "Organized Rhymes"
*2000: "It's War" DJ Skribble "Traffic Jams"
*2001: "Layaway" Jon B. "Pleasures U Like"
*2001: "The Flyest" Nas "Stillmatic"
*2002: "Holla Back" With Nawz & Tito Kool G Rap "The Giancana Story"
*2002: "Keep On Lovin' You [Remix] " Dave Hollister "Keep On Lovin' You 12""
*2004: "Redemption" Cormega "Legal Hustle"
*2006: "Professional Style" The Alchemist "Chemistry Files"
*2006: "The Hardest Pt. I" Styles P "The Ghost Sessions - Mixtape"
*2007: "No Holding Back" With Cormega Statik Selektah "Spell My Name Right: The Album"
*2007: "Who Am I?" with Cormega & Nature Cormega ""
*2008: "Too Real" Foxy Brown "Brooklyn's Don Diva"


External links

* [ AZ - TV]

NAME=Cruz, Anthony
SHORT DESCRIPTION=African-American, Hispanic-American, Dominican-American, African, Hispanic, Dominican Rapper & MC
DATE OF BIRTH= March 9, 1972
PLACE OF BIRTH=Brooklyn, New York

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