AZ recently discussed how close he came to inking a deal with Dipset in 2007. In an exclusive conversation with HipHopDX, the Brooklyn, New York-native explains that potentially joining Dipset was one of several options he considered while still learning the “mechanics” of the independent model.

“At that time, I was dealing with somebody that was doing business with [Cam’ron] and I was doing business with them,” AZ said. “They hooked that up and Cam was interested. I felt like it was a business move at that particular time if I would’ve went through with it. It didn’t go too far. It was a thought and a short conversation and then was left alone. But at the time, they was hot and doing what they were doing. As artists, you have to still make sure you’re a part of the conversation.

“I was independent but at the same time, I was figuring out the mechanics of that word ‘independent,'” he continued. I was testing the waters with a lot of things just to see what was going on. At the time, I was out in the game by myself. So I was seeing who was doing what out there. A lot of artists get caught up in what they get caught up in and they didn’t care less even though we’re in the same circle and the same movements as far as music. There’s strength in numbers. I was just seeing where the mindsets of people were. It’s that type of game. All for one and one for all. You gotta figure it out while your moving.”

AZ Says Doe Or Die II Might Be His “Best Work Ever”

AZ also spoke about his much discussed upcoming release, Doe Or Die II. The album is the sequel to his 1995 debut and expected to be his final solo project. AZ said he still plans to contribute to projects released by artists signed to his Quiet Money Records. He also plans to continue touring.

“I’m gonna put Doe Or Die II out and then I’m done as far as album wise,” AZ said exclusively to HipHopDX. “20 years is good. I’m sure I’ll probably do a song or two with the artists that I put out. But after Doe Or Die II, I feel like I would have completed everything. I feel like I made history. Big up to Nasir and being a part of what he built, which was legendary for myself as well. I feel like I was on all the legendary albums as far as Illmatic, It Was Written, Stillmatic, and even The Firm. I’m sure I’ll be touring and stuff like that, but as far as albums, this will be my last one.

“A lot of people will do anything to get to the top,” he continued. “That’s just not my opinion. I would never just do anything to get somewhere. I feel like I got a good catalog. This last album’s gonna be great. I’m halfway through it. It might be my best work ever. I’ll let the people judge based on my body of work. It’s turning out great. It’s just time to fall back and let other people blossom.”

In an exclusive interview with HipHopDX released yesterday [April 14], AZ reflects on the high profile battle between Nas and Jay Z. He also shares whether he prefers “Ether” or “Takeover.”

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