After being the only other MC on Nas’s classicÂ Illmatic, it seemed that AZ was destined to become one of the faces of hip-hop music. Even after releasing classic album after classic album, he never reached the commercial success that once seemed inevitable. Despite the lack of mainstream notoriety, AZ never leaves his fans disappointed and is one of the most consistent MCs in the game. Whether it be a solo album, a collaboration project, or a freestyle, AZ always brings his best to the table which is why he is so respected amongst his peers and fans alike. Many call AZÂ underrated, however, all hip-hop heads know that he is one of the illest to ever do it.
“Problems”Â is a track off of AZ’s 2001 effort,Â 9 Lives. The song was produced by C.H.O.P. Diesel and features a crazy sample from the El Debarge song “All This Love”.Â The hook is built off the eight bars starting at 0:11, and layered with some banging drums to bring it into the hip-hop realm. Â The verses and also the intro of “Problems” is constructed very skillfully using small chops from 0:09 and also snippets from the downbeat of certain bars during the hook. Â One of AZ’s most well-known tracks, and a timeless record at that. Â Also track 6 off of a great mixtape by the name ofÂ Live From New York.Â (K.Casey / P.Walsh)