Today's hip-hop fans may not recognize the names, but throughout the '90s (and even the early '00s), AZ and Cormega were two of New York's most respected and talented MCs. The two will take the stage at White Room in downtown Miami on March 5.
AZ, from Brooklyn, and Cormega, from Queens, were half of the one-time super-group The Firm, with Nas, Foxy Brown, and producer Dr. Dre. After making their group debut with "Affirmative Action" on Nas' 1996 sophomore release, It Was Written, Cormega was ousted from the group and replaced with another Queens rapper -- Nature -- for the group's self-titled (and only) album.
AZ debuted in 1994 on "Life's A Bitch" from Nas' seminal debut, Illmatic. His career is highlighted by many critically acclaimed albums (Doe or Die, Pieces of a Man, Aziatic) and a long-term collaborative relationship with Nas.
Cormega, on the other hand, has had a rough relationship with Nas. After feuding with Nas following his removal from The Firm, Cormega's highly anticipated debut album for Def Jam, The Testament, was shelved in the late '90s (it was finally released in 2005). Cormega's career spiraled out of control after being dropped from Def Jam, until he imerged in the early '00s with two excellent independent albums: The Realness and The True Meaning. He has since squashed his beef with Nas.