The two rap legends originally collaborated on Nas’ iconic 1994 album Illmatic and were later part of The Firm together alongside Foxy Brown and Nature (who replaced original member Cormega), but never made plans to record a joint project.
Appearing on Esso’s Bag Fuel podcast, AZ explained why such an album never came to fruition: “We did so much music, look how long we been in the game.
“Now, it’s like he got other things he need to accomplish as well as myself. He’s his own man. So that’s where we at. He has dreams and aspirations of his own.”
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In the 2022 documentary Jewels, Gems & Treasures, the often-underrated AZ was celebrated by numerous rap figures including Nas and Buckwild.
In the film, Nas said: “He created a lane for himself. He didn’t want to go where anybody else went, where I went, where this guy went.”
AZ made his debut on Nas’ “Life’s a Bitch” before getting signed and releasing his debut album Doe or Die in 1995. He later earned a Grammy nomination for his Nas collaboration, “The Essence,” off his fourth album Aziatic.
The two rap veterans last reunited in 2020 on Nas’ King’s Disease album. Alongside other members of The Firm and Dr. Dre, AZ rapped a verse on “Full Circle,” a celebration of the group’s brief time together in the late ’90s.
While AZ’s last album Doe or Die II arrived in 2021, Nas has been on the most prolific streak, releasing six albums in four years, all of which were produced by Hit-Boy.
The work has been some of his most acclaimed, with King’s Disease winning Best Rap Album at the Grammys, his first ever win at the music awards ceremony.
Nas has again been nominated for Best Rap Album at the forthcoming 66th Grammy Awards, where King’s Disease III will go up against Her Loss by Drake and 21 Savage, Michael by Killer Mike, UTOPIA by Travis Scott and Heroes & Villains by Metro Boomin.