The Hip Hop Mortuary

"I wax lyrics so poetic even the most narcoleptic skeptic feels awake and perceptive"

3:08 PM

AZ/ Doe or Die

Posted by Guy Fawkes

Any hip hop head would be inclined to think of Nas when they think of AZ, he was the only feature on an untouchable album. His verse on "Represent" is sick as hell, and provides Nas' the motivation to unleash maybe his best lyrics of all time. AZ has achieved a fair amount of success in his career disregarding his Nasir Jones affiliation, and he is often listed as one of the co-creators of "Mafioso Rap" a genre that has already burned out. And dude is still grinding, recording, and selling records to this day, he released an album titled "Undeniable" this year, and I would say it is better than Nas' "Untitled". But back in 1995 people were excited to see what type of shit Anthony Cruz would come with. This album has been mentioned on countless lists as "must-have albums", but that doesn't mean a thing to me so...

The Good:

2. Uncut Raw- I don't know how to explain this instrumental's appeal but it sounds real good. This track is the definition of grimy, raw, gritty and all those other adjectives Fonzworth Bentley overuses.

3. Gimme Yours- This sounds like a worse version of "The World Is Yours"... but not by much at all. The lyricism is great, and AZ still sounds good when he quotes himself... can't say I'm feeling the hook at all.

4. Ho Happy Jackie- This does not sound like the same Buckwild who produced "Lifestylez ov Da Poor And Dangerous".... but I am really feeling this instrumental. It's amazing how effort free AZ's flow is.

5. Rather Unique- Only Pete Rock could have produced this song, AZ flows some fucking lyrical murder, and the sample job on the hook is amazing. No, this whole song is amazing.

7. Sugar Hill- I want to hate this song, I want to delete this song, but I just can't do it. I don't know why, I think I hate this hook... but I'm not sure.

8. Mo Money Mo Murder (Homicide)- I don't want to love this song, I don't want to favorite this song, but I just have to. I don't know why, but I love this song. The hidden track is halfway decent but that's it.

9. Doe or Die- It's usually a rule that the album title song is never good. But this shit is fucking awesome. Another "Represent" sample... but that's the only bad part.

11. Your World Don't Stop- Damn this track would be better acapella... weak hook, unbelievably simplistic beat. And then you have AZ's rhymes which overpower this track.

12. Sugar Hill Remix- Much better, in every aspect.

And that raps up yet another review of a supposedly "classic" album (I know the quotations were unnecessary). This was not a classic album, this was classic lyricism, classic storytelling, classic rhyming and rapping... but the instrumentals and hooks are HIV-stricken weak. Even the producers that always come through with heat only provide average beats (cough... Pete Rock... cough). So I will say this is an interesting listen, I wouldn't say it's something you must hear, and I doubt an album like this will make your musical taste anymore widened.

0-20: Terrible listening experience
21-40: Maybe one good song
41-60: A few good songs
61-80: Half are good songs, half are weak
81-100: Great listening experience, almost all are great songs

After ragging on AZ, I give this album an 82. One of the weaker ratings for a "classic"... so that should say enough, but if your really interested:

Download Here


Anonymous said...

az'z verse on illmatic was not on represent

Graham said...
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