#TBT Classic Review: AZ – ‘Doe or Die’
By Prezidential Poe and Mr. Joe Walker
AZ’s 1995 debut album ‘Doe or Die’ was one of the albums, at that time, that gave you a visual reminiscent of a Mob Movie. It was filled with lyrics that embodied the mafia lifestyle and authentic hip-hop beats courtesy of Pete Rock, Buckwild, L.E.S., Ski and DR Period.
This album’s sometimes considered a sequel or B-side to Nas' ‘Illmatic’ where AZ made his debut. Its been considered a classic among hip-hop circles to this day.
The gold-selling single "Sugar Hill" was produced by L.E.S. who used a raw, uncut, head-nodding sample of “Sugar Free” by Juicy. On it AZ was assisted by Miss Jones singing the background vocals and hook.
“Gimme Yours”, a Pete Rock-produced single, featured Nas on the hook; the song has always been considered one of the more memorable songs from AZ’s debut.
“More Money, More Murder, More Homicide” also features Nas. Over a DR Period-produced banger that samples The O’Jays “Cry Together”, AZ and Nas craft a very image-filled classic that unrolls right before you like a movie, and their chemistry is undoubtedly one of the greatest ever.
With raw lyricism and production, ‘Doe or Die’ is a platinum classic that stays in rotation, and it’s still relevant in 2016.
BET’s online documentary “#20YrsLtr: Featuring AZ’s ‘Doe or Die’” has renewed interest in this ’95 set that’s deserving of every second of attention it’s receiving. The complexity AZ employed to write his verses should be studied, as his word usage is truly a grammatical marvel.
Whether proclaiming he’s “Rather Unique” or advising “Your World Don’t Stop”, AZ’s story-driven debut is an un-erasable timestamp of greatness, it’s 12 tracks of brilliance by one of hip-hop culture’s great literary masters.
If you haven’t heard ‘Doe or Die’ in a while it’s time to revisit. If you’ve never heard it before, add it to your playlist right now. That is all. Thank you for reading, God bless you, and have a great night. | Share
your opinion with us on Twitter @CONCRETE615 @PrezidentialPoe @mrjoewalker