Spirituality is a god given gift that lingers within the core of one’s being. It produces focus, serenity, and motivation in today’s world if you look you’ll find very few who possess this quality. AZ is one of those few. He has the spirituality; but can the core of his soul translate into scriptures that will leave a legendary lasting impression on this Hip-Hop art form?

One of the most stellar efforts Nas’ 1994 debut album Illmatic was the critically acclaimed “Life’s a Bitch.” On this joint, the gun toting, chicken head fucking, Crack slinging, painfully driven and lyrical heat spittin’ youth of the United States Ghettos were introduced to Anthony Cruz. Anthony would fast become known to the world as AZ. AZ is short for Aziatic, which is the 5 Percent Nation of Islam moniker that replaced AZ’s government-given name. This is where the street scriptures of one of the wittiest, complex and intelligent lyricists on the planet began. All hail the coming of AZ.

HipHopDX | Rap & Hip Hop News | Ad Placeholder
AD

AD LOADING...

AD

As the attempts of the label (Motown) trying to get AZ on the phone for me became repetitive I began to get stressed. I had to recoup my thoughts and take a deep breath. This is just some of the shit that us Journalists go through to get the story, and I get the story. Finally, I got to speak with Az about his new album, his goals in life and how he keeps his money -quiet.

When asked where his focus is at these days Az refers to the track, “Wanna be there”, which is on his latest release titled AZIATIC. ” Right now it’s about lettin’ people know that I just wanna be there. It’s just a joint that talks about me wanting people to know that I’m one of the top 10 in this game. A lot of fallen soldiers had to pass to get that credibility.” When approached with the question of whether he feels he gets the credit he deserves as a lyricist, he says, “I am and I’m not. I get love from the streets but people in the game gotta recognize and give it up too.”

He then mentions friends and family that are on lockdown and how he gets them to help them through the struggle. When asked if he’s ever been incarcerated, AZ states, “I was incarcerated for a short time, for what I don’t really want to talk about; but I know it’s not the place for me.” Good move King. Most brothers can’t stop the cyclical madness of incarceration. It takes a lot of inner strength not to do the same shit that got you there in the first place. I know; and as AZ confirms, “it’s just not the place for me.”

I drilled AZ on the state of Hip-Hop and it’s continuous affairs with the present battles that are taking place. He welcomed the chance to comment on topics such as the Nas and Jay-Z battle situation. He gave a firm answer as if he were a gladiator who welcomes all challenges. He says, “It’s needed, man. It’s like the Olympics or the Superbowl. It’s definitely needed. As long as it stays on wax it’s cool.”

HipHopDX | Rap & Hip Hop News | Ad Placeholder
AD

AD LOADING...

AD

As for the business mindset of AZ, the kat is definitively all about his paper. He has a newly formed label called Quiet Money, and he has a possible book deal coming in the future. He says, “I’ll probably do a book soon. I have been approached so I’m just trying to do it all.” When I came at the God from the side and asked about his quietly rumored investments in the stock trade he busts out laughing then says, “Yeah I did some investments and it’s a beautiful game. The door is wide open.” Quiet money is good money in any arena. Although most don’t know it, AZ also quietly sold about 400,000 copies of his last release 9 lives. With this project, Cruz states, “I just wanna keep pursuing and elevating. We never know our destination so I’m just trying to accomplish the things I want to do.”

So after a new album, successful investments, a possible autobiography and living a bachelors life, which in the words of the God AZ is, “just tossin’ it up,” is AZ’s spirit at peace? At that he screams, “I’m at peace like a motherfucker. The dead weight is cut off and I’m at peace like a motherfucker.” That’s a good place to be. Peace King.