AZ On He Felt About Eminem’s Attention
Renowned Brooklyn artist AZ, who gained prominence with his debut alongside Nas in 1994's "Life's A Bitch," expresses satisfaction with influencing Eminem.
In a recent interview with Math Hoffa, the esteemed lyrical rapper discussed his career and the music industry's current state. When asked about Eminem studying his rhyming patterns, AZ, though not delving into details, acknowledged the flattering experience. He emphasized this occurred during the early stages of his career when his style was still evolving.
Reflecting on Eminem's perspective, critics and even Eminem's associates observed strong influences from AZ in his debut album, "Infinite." D12's Kuniva, in a 2015 interview, noted Marshall's initial resemblance to AZ, describing it as a polite and cool phase. However, Eminem faced criticism for the perceived softness of "Infinite," leading to a transformative moment in his career.
Eminem, addressing this shift in "Guts Over Fear" featuring Sia, rapped about the necessity to alter his style: "Had to change my style, they said I’m way too soft, And I sound like AZ and Nas, out came the claws." This marked the emergence of Slim Shady, Eminem's alter ego.
The journey suggests that while Eminem learned from studying AZ's rhyme patterns, he had to unlearn and pave his unique path to success.