Archives

Ski Beatz Admits To Throwing Away An Entire Pre-Reasonable Doubt JAY-Z Album & Big L Music

Hip-Hop lore often provides Heads with stories of triumph, classic moments, and past situations that, at the time, those involved didn't know how legendary they'd be. Sometimes though, disheartening news will emerge when the greats do recall their musical past. RZA's studio was flooded multiple times, which caused the creation... Read more

AZ Gets Down To Firm Biz As He Rates The Rhymes Of Nas, Future & More (Video)

AZ is the latest guest on the "Rate The Bars" program. Many Hip-Hop Heads revere the Brooklyn, New Yorker for his lyricism, wordplay, and imagery. The MC said to be at work on his long-anticipated Doe Or Die 2 is a fitting and qualified judge for others' rhymes. As a... Read more

Daddy-O & AZ Link Up To Run The Tables On Hip-Hop Like 2 Ballas (Audio)

In 1994, AZ made one of Hip-Hop's greatest debut performances thanks to Nas' single, "Life's A B*tch." Like Nas, who had spent years under the tutelage of Large Professor, Kool G Rap, Rakim, and others, his East New York, Brooklyn MC had also been mentored by a decorated veteran. Stetsasonic... Read more

Nas, Rakim, Pete Rock & More Break Down Why AZ Is 1 Of Hip-Hop’s Best Visualizers (Video)

Twenty years ago this month, AZ released his sophomore album, Pieces Of A Man. The Brooklyn, New York MC, author, and co-founder of The Firm has a decorated career that is still very much in swing. Previously, BET released portions of their #20YrsLtr: Doe or Die documentary featuring AZ, but... Read more

Do Remember When AZ & Pete Rock Made A Gem That Was Rather Unique (Audio)

Almost exactly a year and a half after his show-stopping appearance on Nas' Illmatic, AZ Tha Visualiza released his debut album, Doe Or Die. In October of 1995, AZ carefully refrained from any further features between his 5-mic debut and his solo set-up. Fans were starving, and the East New... Read more

Planet Asia Shows Exactly Why His New Album Is Titled The Golden Buddha (Video Premiere)

Stretching back to its foundations, Hip-Hop has often put the spiritual beliefs of its makers front and center. Whether it is adherence to the basic tenets of Islam, the Five-Percent Nation, Rastafari, Pan-African-inspired mysticism, or Christianity, one of the genre's key aspects is the way MCs seek to merge the... Read more

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... Read more

Ambrosia For Heads Presents: G.O.A.T. Producers – The Pete Rock Edition (Playlist)

Ambrosia For Heads' G.O.A.T. Producers series takes in-depth looks at the production discographies of some of Hip-Hop and R&B's greatest of all-time producers. As part of an exclusive partnership with Pandora, each installment explores the hits, the deep cuts, the rarities, the remixes and more. This edition showcases the production catalog... Read more

Planet Asia Sets Off 2018 With Some Lyrical Fireworks (Video)

Approaching 20 years since the release of his debut self-titled EP, Planet Asia has unveiled the first visuals from his forthcoming (January 19) album, The Golden Buddha. The LP’s introductory single, appropriately titled “Fireworks,” is a thunderous and radiant commencement of the Cali Agents MC’s soon-to-be gainful 2018. With a... Read more

AZ, Papoose & Mysonne Are Grown Men Who Are Unafraid To Rap Like It (Video)

Rap music about street exploits is a lot of what is made every single day. AZ, Papoose, and Mysonne have all done this, quite effectively, at various points in their respective careers. However, these three New York City MCs also know when it's time to spit about the exit strategy—not... Read more

AZ, Redman, Erick Sermon & DJ Premier Make D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar Even Sweeter (Audio)

When D'Angelo's album Brown Sugar was released in 1995, it did not sound like anything out at the time. Hip-Hop was enjoying what many see as its golden age, with music by Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and more lighting up the charts. On the R&B front,... Read more

AZ, Raekwon & Prodigy Show That Rhymes Are Like Life Or Death To Great MCs (Video)

In April, AZ released a powerful collaboration alongside Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon and Mobb Deep's Prodigy. "Save Them" was guttural East Coast Rap, produced by D.I.T.C. member Buckwild. These three MCs proved that they've been able to stay sharp, make incredible product, and never compromise from who they said they were... Read more

Watch 40 Years Of Hip-Hop History In 4 Minutes In A Mind-Blowing Mashup (Video)

It ain't nothin' like Hip-Hop music...Over the last 40 years, there have been few forces in pop culture with more impact than Hip-Hop. Like Rock & Roll before it, the music and lifestyle shaped an entire generation and has had untold influence around the world. The Rub: The History of... Read more

Kool G Rap Reveals Def Jam Passed On Nas Because He Sounded Too Much Like Him (Video)

There are few, if any, record labels that have a more storied tradition than Def Jam Recordings. The company started by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons would be the musical home of countless Hip-Hop legends over time, including LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Redman, Method Man, Jay Z,... Read more

AZ, Raekwon & Prodigy Are Out To Carry On Tradition For Hip-Hop, Doe Or Die (Audio)

Hip-Hop Heads knew that April 7, 2017 was going to be a big day for the music. However, few could have expected that three supreme lyricists from the 1993-1994 class of New York City Rap would come together to do microphone damage to make today all the more special. Marching... Read more

Das EFX Celebrate 25 Years Of Dead Serious Rhymes With Reunion Concert

Twenty five years ago next week (April 7), Das EFX released their debut album, Dead Serious. The duo of Dray and Skoob took a giant leap from under EPMD's Hit Squad umbrella when they released their first LP on EastWest Records. Produced almost entirely by Solid Scheme, this was a... Read more

AZ Spits Hot Fire On A Red Hot Mix To “Starboy,” Just In Time For The Weeknd (Audio)

It's been 8 years since AZ released an album, and in that time, his output has been extremely scarce. In fact, over the last couple of years, the Brooklyn MC has only released a handful of songs, and they typically are care of DJs who coax him into blessing their... Read more

Finding The GOAT Producer: Pete Rock vs. Kanye West. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Producer,” the third installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest producers vying for the #1 spot. Thirty producers were pre-selected by a panel of experts, and two slots will be reserved for wild-card entries, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no... Read more

Stillmatic Turns 15. Here’s A Look At Nas’ Return To His NY State Of Mind (Video)

Fifteen years ago today (December 18), Nas released his fifth album, Stillmatic. At a time before popular Rap stars were making albums into series and franchises, Nasir Jones flashed back to his 1994 debut. In the seven years since, the MC had two #1 albums, and gone platinum many times... Read more

AZ’s 40 Seconds Of Bars Are Better Than Most Albums These Days (Audio)

AZ is like a special ops soldier. He is low key, stealth and, when he's deployed, it's for maximum impact. It's been a relatively quiet year for the Brooklyn, MC, save for a few select drops, such as his guest turn on A$AP Twelvyy's "Motivation." In September, however, it appeared... Read more

AZ Vows “Doe Or Die 2” Will Be His Final Album & It’s Coming This Year (Audio)

It has been more than seven years since Brooklyn, New York MC AZ has released an official album. In 2010, the co-founder of The Firm dropped a special 15th anniversary homage to his debut Doe Or Die. In that time, the Quiet Money lyricist has vowed that like peers Nas,... Read more

Nas Auditioned For A Lead In “Paid In Full” According To Dame Dash (Video)

In the early 2000s, Roc-A-Fella Records was fast expanding its film division. The label, founded by Jay Z, Damon "Dame" Dash, and Kareem "Biggs" Burke was also entrenched in one of the most exciting Rap battles of the last 15 years, thanks to Jay's beefing on wax with Nas. In... Read more

AZ & Alchemist Give A$AP Twelvyy Motivation To Always Strive & Prosper (Audio)

A$AP Twelvyy is one of the Mob members who has not yet released an album. However, the New York City MC stays ready. "Motivation" is the latest burden of proof that the MC heard on Rocky's Live. Love. ASAP and Statik Selektah's Lucky 7 deserves his own platform. Moreover, this... Read more

Akinyele Suggests An Unkept Promise Planted The Seeds For The Nas & Jay Z Beef (Audio)

Queens, New York veteran MC Akinyele has not released an album of new material in more than 15 years. However, the raspy-voice rapper remains very much tied to the Hip-Hop culture he came up through. DJ Khaled and Drake's current hit "For Free" is an homage to a 1997 single... Read more

The Firm’s Nature Bags Up Rarities Featuring Nas, Pete Rock & AZ (Album Stream)

It has been nearly 20 years since The Firm released its one and only album. The collective of Nas, AZ, Foxy Brown, and Nature would sign with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment for a chart-topping LP (called The Album) that is seemingly misplaced by time. Dre would place six of the album's... Read more

Rakim Narrates & The Firm Appears In Documentary On AZ (Video)

In 2004, Nas famously made single "The Unauthorized Biography Of Rakim" for his Street's Disciple album. The Queensbridge MC paid homage to the lyrical half of Eric B. & Rakim through a compelling narrative. In 2016, Rakim emerges to help tell the story of one of Nas' band-mates in The... Read more

AZ Tells The Origin Of His Show-Stealing Verse On Illmatic (Video)

Most AZ fans know that "Tha Visualiza" hails from Brooklyn, New York. However, unlike so many illustrious MCs, AZ's sense of place and home lives in his lyrics more than photographs, symbols, etc. The Firm co-founder returns to his Williams Houses in East New York, Brooklyn for the first time... Read more

AZ Gets Gets Outta Control In A New Freestyle (Audio)

In Hip-Hop, few artists can blend in any environment as well as AZ. The Brooklyn, New York MC has had radio singles of multiple varieties, numerous Top 40 albums, and success both as a major label flagship artist and independent ventures. As part of his ongoing series, DJ Absolut shares... Read more

20 Years Later, Life Is Good For AZ Too (Video)

Though both have gone on to have long, successful and deeply respected solo careers, AZ and Nas will always be connected. After all, for many, AZ was introduced through his possibly scene-stealing guest verse on Nas' "Life's A Bitch," from Illmatic. The two reunited periodically throughout the years, including in a... Read more

AZ Says Doe Or Die 2 Is Still Coming, With Beats By DJ Premier & Pete Rock

It has been more than five years since Brooklyn, New York veteran MC AZ announced plans for a Doe Or Die sequel. With his 1995 Top 15 debut as inspiration, the onetime Firm member did self-release a 15th anniversary edition of his debut in 2010, a 10-track album of remixes... Read more

Listen to the Best Hip-Hop of August 2015 in 1 Playlist (Audio)

August 2015 was an incredibly complex month for Hip-Hop. On the one hand, it was filled with tragedy and will forever be remembered as the month when we lost the great Sean Price. On the other hand, the month also brought a new album from Method Man, the first album... Read more

How Does AZ Rock a Down South Beat? Impeccably…(Audio)

It's been quite some time since AZ blessed fans with new material. Save for some loosies and guest verses here and there, the esteemed Brooklyn MC has not released an album since 2009's Legendary, and his rumored Doe or Die 2 has yet to surface. While there still may not... Read more

What Would A Nas And AZ Album Sound Like? This Is The Closest You’ll Get (Mixtape)

Ever since the Firm disbanded in the late nineties, Heads have voiced a desire for an AZ/Nas collaboration album, though one has never materialized. However, a new mixtape has been released which may prove to be the next best thing. Thanks to DJ Rhude (who is also a contributing writer... Read more

These MCs Are Often Unsung & Underrated…But They Are GOATs (Video)

When you ask Hip-Hop fans to name their Top 10 MCs, there are certain names cited consistently--Nas, Tupac, Eminem, Biggie, Jay Z...but, inevitably, there will be artists mentioned that seem like wildcards, too. However, when you pay close attention, you'll find that these artists' names also recur. These are MCs... Read more

Do Remember: AZ’s S.O.S.A. (Save Our Streets AZ) Album (Audio)

Like sports, what a musician does as a free agent often determines his or her future. Some artists privately seek out their next label home, and get right to work. Others use the event as a combine of sorts, publicly postulating where they would like to be, and what it... Read more

Nas & AZ’s Illmatic Collabo Was Supposed to Be Over Juicy. Hear What Could Have Been (Audio)

Though the sample has now been used countless times, Heads will forever associate the deep bass line and knock from Mtume's "Juicy Fruit" with The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy" flip on his debut album, Ready to Die. However, a lesser known fact is that the song was originally supposed to be... Read more

AZ, DJ Premier & Joe Budden Put It Down For MoSS’s Breakthrough (Audio)

Heads may or may not be up on MoSS, yet... Working closely with DJ Premier and Year Round Records for years, the Toronto, Ontario producer has produced for certified lyrical vets such as Ghostface Killah, Sean Price, and Big Shug. Having also contributed a full project with Eternia (2010's At... Read more

Ghostface Killah, AZ & Kool G Rap Go to Battle in This Comic-Style Visual (Lyric Video)

It's hard to believe that Ghostface Killah has released two albums in less than four months. Before Sour Soul, it was all about 36 Seasons. The narrative-style G.F.K. effort was an ensemble effort, part fiction, part seemingly fact about a character returning to Staten Island's Stapleton Projects after nine years... Read more

Listen to the Best Hip-Hop of March 2015 All in One Playlist (Audio)

Along with the start of Spring, the month of March brought much to celebrate in Hip-Hop. Action Bronson released Mr. Wonderful, his major label debut album. DJ EFN hit Heads off with a slew of amazing collaborations on his Another Time LP. Earl Sweatshirt fired the latest salvo from Odd... Read more

AZ Paints a Vintage Picture on a Beautiful and Timeless Track (Audio)

Earlier this week, Ambrosia For Heads premiered episode 1 of Learn From Legends, a new web series where up and coming producer Rodney Hazard sits with iconic Hip-Hop producers to perfect his craft. It seems Hazard is already applying his learnings, as he's produced a masterful and beautiful track for... Read more

One Producer Took AZ’s Whole A.W.O.L. Album & Gave It A Facelift (Album Stream)

Ten years ago, AZ Tha Visualiza left the major label system (after a decade in) and found an independent stride. After success under Kedar Massenburg's Motown Records with "Problems," The Firm lyricist was a blue-chip acquisition for eOne Entertainment. There, AZ made an album in A.W.O.L. seemingly apathetic towards radio support.... Read more

Ever Heard This Nas, AZ & Foxy Brown Freestyle From 1997? It’s Firm Business (Audio)

Back in 1997 when Nas, AZ and Foxy Brown announced they were forming a super group called The Firm and their album would be released on Dr. Dre's then new label Aftermath Entertainment, Heads went crazy with anticipation for the project. Though they would only release one album, which for... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Jay-Z vs. AZ…Who You Got?

We have reached the second round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). We are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups... Read more

Cormega Releases a Dream Team Remix with AZ, Redman & Styles P (Audio)

This past Summer, Cormega released "MARS (Dream Team)" featuring AZ, Redman and Styles P. Just the lineup was enough to make Heads explode, but it actually lived up to its billing. Each MC flexed on the Large Professor beat which was one of the crown jewels on Cormega's stellar Mega... Read more

Ghostface Killah Unleashes a Full Album Stream of 36 Seasons (Audio)

Over the last few weeks, Ghostface Killah has released banger after banger after banger from his forthcoming 36 Seasons album. Few, if any, projects have been more anticipated. Now, the wait is over. Similar to DJ Premier & Royce Da 5'9" with their PRhyme EP, Ghost has released a full... Read more

Here’s a Playlist of the Best Hip-Hop of November 2014 (Audio)

November was dominated by members of Wu-Tang Clan and Shady 2.0. Eminem, the Wu, Royce Da 5'9" & DJ Premier, Ghostface Killah and Slaughterhouse all had big records (or several). Here's a playlist featuring music by them, as well as De La Soul, Chuck D, Juvenile, Big K.R.I.T., M.O.P., AZ,... Read more

Ghostface Killah & AZ Are 3 For 3 with Killer Collabos. Here’s the Latest (Audio)

For the last couple of weeks, Ghostface Killah has been setting the Net on fire with releases from his forthcoming 36 Seasons album. Particularly, his collabos with AZ have been favorites of Heads and, with AZ making a whopping five appearances on the LP, there are aplenty. The latest track,... Read more

Ghostface Killah & AZ Challenge The Law In This Vivid Account (Audio)

Ghostface Killah and AZ came up around the exact same time. Both students of the wild '80s, these two New Yorkers carry a love of name-brand image, decadent fashions, and old school attitudes in their touted music. That being said, 'Face and Sosa sound excellent together on "Double Cross." This... Read more

Ghostface Killah, Kool G Rap & AZ Provide A Cautionary Street Tale (Audio)

All of the 36 Seasons are heating up! For the second weekday in a row, Ghostface Killah unleashes some new content. "The Battlefield" is one of the several appearances by Kool G Rap and AZ on the Tommy Boy Records LP. Also including The Revelations' vocalist Tre Williams, this cut... Read more

After Nas Sets Things Off, AZ Tries His Hand At Rhyming On J Dilla’s Donut (Audio)

Old friends, AZ and Nas watch each other's moves. As Nasir stole Hip-Hop's attention last week by taking one of J Dilla's 2006 Donuts beats, and coming up with "The Seasons," Tha Visualiza wanted in. AZ made his own rendition of "The Seasons," cuing up Jay Dee's "Gobstopper" instrumental. As... Read more