It has been a while since I reviewed anything from the east coast so I decided to go back a little and check out my man AZ's "PIECES OF A MAN". This was his second album and while a little more upbeat at times than his first album it is still a great CD.
1.NEW LIFE [ALBUM INTRO]-this more like a short song and not an intro, and it is a great album opener. Goldfinger delivered a great instrumental for AZ to introduce the album. Great opening track.
2.I'M KNOWN-the first full length song of the album is pure east coast underground greatness. AZ kills a nice somewhat eerie instrumental from Goldfinger, this seems like a continuation of the first track. This is certainly another good track.
3.HOW YA LIVIN-we follow that last track with a NAS assisted classic, the hits keep coming. Over a nice sampled ["SHOW ME"] instrumental by LES these two great mc's trade verses and create yet another classic collaboration between them. This could have been a good single if it had a video, could have been real cool.
4.TRADING PLACES-Tone & Poke drop a cool Caribbean influenced instrumental for AZ to rip to. This is another good song but I think AZ outshines this production instead of matching it. Don't get me wrong it is good but something about it doesn't mesh well with me, still a good song.
5.WHAT'S THE DEAL-Tone & Poke return and do a much better job this time and come with a cool smooth beat for AZ. AZ of course kills it and lets his girl know what it is. There is also a good hook to this song, which adds to the potential of the song.
HALF A MILL INTERLUDE
6.LOVE IS LOVE-Goldfinger just keeps getting better on this album and drops one of the best beats on the entire with the help of AZ. There is something truly beautiful about the production on this track, it fits AZ's flow perfectly. What makes this track even better is that not only does AZ drop some gems but so does guest and fellow QB representer NATURE. This is one of the better tracks on the album, FIRM.
7.THE PAY BACK-this Gucci Jones produced track is a nice tell of vengeance against someone who wronged AZ. This is a great story type track with a nice Spanish guitar sounding track. This is another highlight of the album, good song.
8.JUST BECAUSE-over a very familiar sample provided by LES AZ drops a nice part style track about girls and balling. This while good and has a very up tempo happy sound to it is not the best song by far on the album. It grows on you and sounds like it could have been a single, a female singer on the hook would have sounded nice on this track. Still a good track and worth a listen.
9.SOSA-this has got to be one of his best songs ever, I dare any one to listen to this and not agree. Tone & Poke stepped their game up on this one and created a production that sounds picture perfect for AZ and his flow. This has a nice guitar on it and AZ kills it.
10.IT'S A BOY THING-Tone & Poke are definitely an experimental two, the beat for this song sounds nothing like what you would hear AZ on. And unfortunately it is one of the weaker songs on the album, the beat and hook sort of kill this one for me. AZ does his thing but wastes great lyrics on this track. Also I hate the title to this song.
11.PIECES OF A [BLACK] MAN-this is definitely a step up from the last track. T & P come with a much better production. In fact the beat on here is more of AZ's style that smooth dark kinda sounding instrumental that he is known to destroy. This is no different, AZ does his thing on this song.
12.LAST DAYZ-MONIFA is in the house on this track here, which I believe is the single from the album. And why not over a slow smooth beat from Kenny Smoove and Darryl Young, AZ lets all know what the deal is in these times. And you know Monifa sounds great over this smooth production, her hook is great.
13.WHATEVER HAPPENED [THE BIRTH]-we move from that smooth song into this RZA produced and featured grimy NY track. The beat to this is that WU-TANG style track that RZA is known for. AZ sounds right at home over this very New York sounding track. And of course RZA is right at home over his own production.
14.TRIAL OF THE CENTURY-once again AZ goes into story mode and tales a great street tale, and goes into detail like no other. Nashie Myrick dropped a great beat that fits the flow and concept of this song. Foxy Brown drops by for a guest appearance and Panama PI is on the hook. Another good song.
15.BETCHA DON'T KNOW-we end things on a more up beat type of song with a cool jazzy instrumental provided by Tony Dofat. AZ does a nice job as expected on this track, but I don't think this was a wise choice for an album closer. Maybe if this would have been in the middle of the album it would have made more sense.
This is a great album and I recommend it to every hip hop fan out there.
I basically am just a normal person obbsessed with Mixed Martial Arts, pro wrestling, movies of all kinds, music of all kinds, books of all kinds, and of course foods of all kinds. Just trying to keep … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.