Friday, February 20, 2015

AZ - Doe Or Die (Album Review)

Release Date : October 10, 1995
Label : EMI Records

Today I wanted to revisit AZ's Doe Or Die, so lets get into it. After having a classic verse on Life's A Bitch, AZ got offered mad deals, including Sony (Where Nas was signed at the time), but he chose to sign with EMI instead. How many rappers can say they got signed off of one verse? Not too many. But on the flip-side, its a lot of pressure that comes with it, but AZ lived up to the hype on Doe Or Die. Some consider it a classic album and others consider it a near-classic album, honestly you can't wrong either way. Az wanted his first single to be more street, but he said  EMI saw how huge Biggies One More Chance song was, so he ended up making the Miss Jones featured Sugar Hill his first single.

Although Sugar Hill was a mainstream song, AZ's lyrics were still street as he just wants to enjoy life (No more cutting grams, and wrapping grands up in rubberbands/ I'm a recovered man/ Our plans to discover other lands/ Suburban places got me seeking for oasis/ cristal by the cases/ Ladies of all races with dime faces). We get two Az and Nas collabs, Gimme Yours and the grimey Mo Money Mo Murder "Homicide". Then on the title track, Doe Or Die, Az is all about getting his money. N.O. Joe's production has that sunny day California feel. Rather Unique produced by Pete Rock is one of AZ's best songs, not just on this album, but in his whole discography. Does anybody else gets Primo vibes where you hear the beat?

Ho Happy Jackie is about a money hungry chick, she gets tricked on alot, among other things. If you're ballin you could easily get some from Jackie, only thing that matters to her is money (Cuz if it's more than one fella tryin' to get wit her To hell wit the fly, she only slidin' wit the highest bidder). Az even gives advice in the third verse (Don't get out foxed, and slicked, and turn into a trick daddy Trickin' ya whore, hustlin' end for some skins, Cuz next you be trickin' on all her family members and friends). Then at the end, she offers AZ to leave with her in her mans whip and he straight up disses her. Shit was funny.

The drug driven Uncut Raw is a highlight on the album too and like AZ says, the song is "pure as opium". There were only two songs I weren't feeling on here and they were I Feel For You, mainly because the humming in the background, which was annoying to me and the pointless remix of Sugar Hill. Overall Doe Or Die has minor flaws, and of course its not Illmatic (they are two completely different types of albums), but its still an important album in Az's career. And if you're into mafioso rap, I suggest you to check this album out.


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