AZ Says Rappers Have Shifted Focus From Lyrics To Hustling
AZ recalls appearing on the set of Jay Z's "Dead Presidents" video with Biggie and Smoothe Da Hustler.
As a rap veteran, Brooklyn rapper AZ recently shared his thoughts on the status of today’s Hip Hop, during an interview with Forbez DVD Live. When asked if there’s a lack of lyricism when it concerns today’s rappers, he revealed that the business has become more of “a hustle game” with lyrics taking a backseat.
Despite the recent shift in focus, he stated that every rapper should be able to spit.
“I feel like everybody should be mothafuckin spitting,” he said. “That’s like mandatory…It ain’t even about lyrics. It’s a hustle game now. So, everybody hustling. Doing what they do. So, I ain’t stressing it.”
AZ later recalled appearing in the “Dead Presidents” music video alongside the likes of Jay Z, Smoothe Da Hustler, and the late Notorious B.I.G.
“That was the good ol’ days,” he said. “That was Hip Hop, man. You know what I mean? All the Brooklynites. Actually, Smooth Da Hustler was there too. He was up there. He was at the table. It was a good look.”
The New York City lyricist later addressed the issues pertaining to clearing samples, and revealed that it is an issue that “hurts” the music community.
“It hurts a lot…Yeah, I mean cause everybody wanna eat,” AZ said when asked if the sample for “Doe Or Die” would have been cleared if it was released today. “It’s the music game. It’s the publishing game. So, I mean, you can clear just about anything. It depends on if a record is worth clearing. You know what I’m saying? If it’s a hit, if it’s a single, and it’s worth clearing, it’s worth it. If not, sometimes you can just use it for promotional purposes.”
Earlier this year, AZ spoke exclusively with HipHopDX about his record “Sugar Hill,” The Firm, and working with Nas.
“I was humming the beat. He liked it,” he said while speaking on Nas’ “Life’s A Bitch.” “I had something cooked up and I laid it down. And the rest was history. I was surprised that he liked it that much that he put it on the album but I appreciate it at the same time.”