Wednesday 7 September 2011

Forgotten beefs : AZ vs. G-Unit

"Somebody talk to homie, tell 'em I don't play ball
you fuckin' with them Saratoga hackers off St. Marks
cheese n*gga mad 'cause he went A.W.O.L
but first family is Fif's la familia all day y'all.."

M.O.P - I'll Whip Ya Head Boy remix
(From various mixtapes; 2006)

Not only was M.O.P's I'll Whip Ya Head Boy remix the henchest chair-breaker of a joint to emerge from their fleeting stay in the G-Unit Records HQ broom cupboard, but it also chucks us in right at the deep end of the AZ vs. G-Unit fracas with Lil' Fame playing the Tru-Life to 50 Cent's Jay-Z by pitching threats back in the direction of AZ after Nas' former BFF responded to 50's "if I put out bullshit joints like AZ, every chance n*ggas get they'd try and play me" dis on What If with Royal Salute :

50 Cent - What If
(From Get Rich Or Die Tryin' OST; 2005)

AZ - Royal Salute
(From various mixtapes/bonus track on The Format; 2006)

And that was fair enough really since Fame and Billy had to earn their keep at G-Unit somehow when there was more chance of 50 & Ashanti recording a Best Of Both Worlds duets album together than Interscope ever releasing a Mash Out Posse album, but the I'll Whip Ya Head Boy remix charters into queer how'd-you-do territory when you consider that Fame actually produced a song on AZ's A.W.O.L album and then went on to produce another 3 songs on its follow-up The Format including the Sit 'Em Back Slow banger he and Danze blessed with their presence, when only 6 months earlier he was warning AZ his "ass would get popped with a hot one" should he mention 50's name again :

AZ ft. M.O.P - Sit 'Em Back Slow
(From The Format; 2006)

The general assumption that 50's initial dis to AZ on What If was little more than a throwaway instance of douchebaggery because AZ happens to rhyme with Jay-Z and Baby might be accepted elsewhere, but any mention of such a theory in this post will be greeted with the sound of the Family Fortunes wrong answer noise. The line was actually a riposte to the intro to A.W.O.L's title track where AZ's chief-hideous Gucci sneaker carrier Animal delivers a sermon paying tribute to AZ for his no-frills approach to N.Y rap classicism and subliminally zings 50 and G-Unit's other latest edition to their roster Ma$e as "bitch ass n*ggas crying, retiring and comin' back; findin' God and comin' back; gettin' shot and comin' back; doin' mixtapes and comin' back..." :

AZ - A.W.O.L
(From A.W.O.L; 2005)

It's a pity Ma$on didn't follow M.O.P's lead in jacking 50 songs from the Get Rich Or Die Tryin' soundtrack to reimagine as AZ dis tracks, because a Ma$e take on Window Shopper could've scaled the lofty heights of his 1997/1998 apex of arrogance. His only comeback joint to do just that, of course, was We Gon' Make It Right with none other than a certain rapper from Brooklyn whose namesake is a member of MobStyle :

Ma$e ft. AZ - We Gon' Make It Right
(From DJ Sickamore's Hood Radio V. 2 mixtape; 2005)

This beef might not have resulted in anything as entertaining as the story of Game breaking into the grounds of 50's mansion to steal a basketball hoop to wear as a necklace or prompted a dis track as venomous as the I Run N.Y freestyle where Yayo brought the pwn with such quotables as "my money longer than yours, call your recruits/The Lox made more money in them damn shiny suits", "Styles and Sheek Louch went double plastic/Yayo, Buck and Banks is puttin' out classics" and "100 shots, 100 clips - you ready to die?/Fat Joe ain't a gangsta, you scared to fly" before 50 proceeded to unleash a torrent of ad libbed shit-talking and spot-blowing, but, hey, at least it gave us a handful of good songs and some toadying behaviour by Fame to impress his new employer, and sometimes that'll suffice just nicely instead, right?


step one said...

Dope post. 'I Run NY' was a great dis track, Yayo killed it. Shame 'Piggybank' was the one that got the big video treatment. That was pretty shit if I remember right.

Anonymous said...

Oi oi, There were two leaked M.O.P. Jawns from (I think) the G Unit era. I've lost them now due to deletion Goombas. Don't know the name either, sounded sorta like a Dr Dre beat.

They both had some crackly sound bite at the begining.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

I'm guessing you're probably referring to When Death Becomes U and/or Big Boy Game?

What I meant in the post is that the I'll Whip Ya Head Boy remix was by far their hardest jam to emerge from their tenure on G-Unit.

Anonymous said...

Cot damn, Neither of those.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...


Anonymous said...

Was the 50/AZ beef at all connected to Ken McGriff and the Supreme Team? I thought AZ named himself after an actual Supreme Team member? I don't know what AZ's link to Supreme is if any but with the complexities of the old NY beefs it would at least make sense that the 50/AZ beef stems back to that period.. I'm no authority, just a conjecture..

Anonymous said...

Here's an article that states AZ took his name from a Supreme Team member:

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Naw, man. AZ shares his name with AZ/Azie from the group MobStyle who was Harlem's answer to Supreme, but there was no actual connection between him and the other Harlem guys like Rich Porter, Alpo and Fritz and all the 5 Crowns/Supreme Team guys from Queens.

Well, other than them possibly using the same Columbians to buy coke from, I suppose, but, no, there's no connection between rapper AZ and the Supreme Team.