There are a lot of things I wish would happen in life.
- HBO bring back How To Make It In America for 3 final seasons
- In N Out Burger in St.Louis
- 5 more Seoul Taco locations
- A Ghostface Killah & MF Doom Album
- A Andre 3000 solo album produced only by Organized Noize
- A threesome with Scarlett Johansson and Trina
The one thing I want the most, maybe slightly more than the threesome mentioned above. The most important project in hip hop history. A Nas and AZ album. This album has to be produced entirely by L.E.S (Producer of Life's A Bitch, The Flyest). I wouldn't have it any other way. Shit even a 4 song EP would satisfy my fandom. Nas and AZ without a doubt in my opinion is the greatest hip-hop duo I've ever heard. Yes, over Outkast, Ghost & Rae, UGK, Ball & MJG, Capone N Nore and I LOVE all those guys but Nas and AZ collabs are unblemished. They are easily batting 1.000 with the songs they have done together as a duo. The closest we got to a project was "The Firm" album which was a fucking disaster. Too many people involved. Can't believe I'm saying this because he's the GOAT hip hop producer but Dr.Dre and The Firm just didn't mix or make sense. They should've kept it east coast.
Nas is debatably the greatest M.C to ever walk this earth and his legacy is cemented. He doesn't have to release another solo album ever again. Actually I take that back. Seeing that damn near all of the black community on Twitter didn't know his nickname was "ESCO" as in Escobar for 20 fucking years he might need to release something to remind niggas. AZ is a underground legend who never got the proper respect as an artist. "Doe or Die" is one of the greatest hip hop albums I've ever heard. I just want AZ to get that moment in the sun that he deserves and I think a long overdue collab album would give him that moment. The moment for the unfamiliar to see what us hardcore hip hop fans knew all along. That AZ is a special artist.
AZ did a interview for XXL over 10 years ago and they asked him about a album with Nas and AZ said he's all for it and ready. We never got that album. I don't know if those two had issues or industry politics played a part of this project never happening but man I just wish something happens because I guarantee they both will regret not doing it later in life. Just pick up the phone. Find wherever L.E.S is and just lock in the lab and bless the streets. I actually have a playlist I created named "Esco & The Visualiza" and it's been on my iTunes for 4 years. All their collaborations and my favorite solo records from both of them. I will never get rid of that playlist. 20 songs of fucking crack.
I want to reminisce over the music the duo did give us and what the songs mean to me not only as a artist but as a fan.
LIFE'S A BITCH (PRODUCED BY L.E.S)
The first time any of us probably heard AZ was on "Illmatic." A debut verse for the history books of hip hop. The knowledge AZ was spitting was just so real and raw. Living out the dreams for all his fallen comrades and family. He doing what he gotta do in the streets and attempting to live the fast life because well, Life's a bitch and then we die. Nas spits one of the his most famous lines in his career "That buck that bought the bottle could've struck the lotto." Nas was 19 years old when rapping this shit. It truly boggles my mind. At 19 I wasn't nowhere near as enlightened as Nas seemed to be. It's fascinating. This shit is straight up street jazz. It's the blues but from a street perspective. I've had plenty of drunk nights playing this song just zoned the fuck out. Nas's father playing the trumpet at the end was the icing on the cake. I always wondered if I could rap as good as these guys when I heard this as a youth.
HOW U LIVIN (PRODUCED BY L.E.S)
Esco and Sosa trading fly ass bars back and forth for the whole track. I picture them both in a italian restaurant, custom made suits with the high thread count just rapping this shit to each other over the finest glass champagne or wine. This shit was so smooth and street. The chemistry Nas, AZ, and L.E.S share I've never seen anything quite like it. Very rare. It's like a hip-hop version of DeNiro and Pacino. Just two legends showing why they're the greatest unofficial duo in hip-hop. What I like about their chemistry is that you don't get caught up in who had the best verse, you're just into the music.
THE ESSENCE (PRODUCED BY BABY PAUL)
I believe it's the last known collaboration between Nas and AZ. I love this joint because it's like they ran into each other in the street and just started chopping it up reminiscing about the past and picking up where they left off to head to the future. Back on that fly shit. Fashion. Fucking Actresses. Living like bosses.
MO MONEY MO MURDER (HOMICIDE) (PRODUCED BY DR PERIOD)
Might be my favorite song they both created. They went the storytelling route and it just works. Nas comes on so vividly and you can just picture him tied up by drug lords who used to be his plug, being tortured by them, and trying to escape alive. It's crazy how different they are style wise but how similar they are. Nas is very laid back and AZ is very blunt and bold. Besides "Rather Unique" this song might be AZ's best performance from his catalog. AZ flow was second to none on this track and the delivery was just viscous. He really sounded like a kingpin. This era was the height of Mafioso rap. Between Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt era. Raekwon and Ghost's OBFCL & Ironman and Nas and AZ collabs these were the artists that had the mafioso era on lock.
THE FLYEST (PRODUCED BY L.E.S)
Nas was in the middle of a war with Roc-A-Fella records and Stillmatic saved Nas career. I always wonder if Jay would've never dissed Nas would Nas career be the same. Jay woke a sleeping giant because Nas career was on life support with his two previous albums before Stillmatic. Nas dropped this gem and rightfully so he went back and grabbed his partner in rhyme AZ to be on his comeback album. L.E.S on the production. This song is so dope because of everything I stated before. They counted Nas out. They thought he was finished. This the last song on the playlist I created and rightfully so. It has that end credits vibe to it. It was good to see AZ and Nas back at it after 3 years. The back and forth on the final verse was so legendary. "We both hard hit like Camacho and Vargas. Who's the target now watch how we close the market mothafucka!"
Salute to the greatest duo in life period. Esco and The Visualiza.