Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972), better known by his stage name AZ, is an American rapper. Born in Brooklyn, NY. He is known for being a longtime and frequent rhyme partner of Nas, and also a member of hip-hop group The Firm alongside Nas, Foxy Brown, Cormega and Nature.
In a countdown of the 10 Most Underappreciated Rappers—Most Underrated Rappers of All Time, the editors of About.com listed AZ as #1 on the list. He was also included on About.com's list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), where he was described as "arguably the most underrated lyricist ever."AZ in Hamburg, Germany in 1997