Planet Asia Recruits AZ For One Of His Biggest & Best Collabos (Audio Premiere)
Two qualities define and distinguish the two-decade-plus career of Fresno, California MC Planet Asia. First, his central role within the independent Hip-Hop scene on the West Coast (he is credited with helping reinvigorate the movement back in the late ’90s), and his bold production choices.
Planet Asia’s 2017 collaboration with Detroit producer Apollo Brown was entitled Anchovies because, as the artists said, just like the salty fish the music it contained might not be to everyone’s taste. Despite this, Anchovies ended up being an oblique standout release of last year.
Now, Ambrosia For Heads is proud to premiere the next single from Planet Asia’s forthcoming album, The Golden Buddha solely produced by San Francisco beatmaker izznyce, due tomorrow (January 19) via Brick Records.
And this time, the track features one of the most respected, if underrated, greats from the New York Hip-Hop scene: AZ, who previously formed part of the ‘90s super-group, The Firm, alongside Nas, Foxy Brown, and Nature.
Unlike his video single, “Fireworks” that came out last week, with its dense bassline providing the foundations and P.A.’s high-energy verve where he emphatically demonstrated why he is the king, “Fast Not Slow” is more restrained, albeit while extolling the high life.
Set up by a sample locating the action in “a big house in Beverly Hills,” Planet Asia recognizes his talent while name-checking luxury goods and trappings of excess: cocaine, diamonds, Swiss watches. As he rhymes “this ain’t a Rap song, this is Opera.”
The AZ verse, meanwhile, shows why he is often featured on Heads’ best-of lists. Tha Visualiza’s contribution here is at once punchy and poetic. Interestingly, AZ frequently uses a one-word pattern, a technique also favored by other East Coast MC peers such as DOOM or Kool Keith. Rather than running the line into the next, he just stops after a word. This adds extra emphasis to his delivery. One highlight: the way he links “inner voices”/“dinner choices” and “boisterous.” The izznyce beat, meanwhile, remains unobtrusive with a swirly glamor all of its own.
Planet Asia’s The Golden Buddha release promises to be something of real value, with guests such as fellow Californian MCs, TriState and Hus Kingpin, among others making appearances. It also looks noteworthy for what appears to be its Gangsta/Buddhist theme (one track is called “Siddhartha,” the original name of the Buddha in the days when he was still a prince and before he set out on his path seeking enlightenment).
#BonusBeat: Last month, Planet Asia hit The Wake Up Show to drop this epic freestyle:
Host DJ King Tech posted that he considers it a “Top 10 freestyle” for the legendary radio show.