AZ is back on the block.
The Brooklyn rapper returned to his roots for an episode of the BET web series, #BLX, which follows artists as they go back to the neighborhoods they grew up in.
AZ’s installment shows him returning to the East New York housing project where he was raised, visiting his old apartment and his shock at how much the neighborhood had gentrified since he lived there.
BOSSIP spoke to AZ at the #BLX season two episode screening, where he spoke about the show, his Brooklyn youth and his new projects:
Q: Why did you decide to participate in the #BLX documentary?
A: “The reason I wanted to get involved was memory lane. Because you know as time goes on, we tend to push forward, that’s how humans evolve. Sometimes before you take steps forward, you want to take steps backwards. Once I saw a few episodes- because there were a few episodes before I got involved – they went back to where it all started. I thought, ‘Wow, I got a story to tell.’ It was just good that they allowed me to do that.”
Q: What was it like growing up in East New York, Brooklyn, during the so-called “Bad Old Days”?
A: “I was trying to figure out life. Welfare was pervasive and crime was pervasive and drugs, it was just knowing the dos and don’ts. I had a good household with my mother and sister, and she always taught me how to think on my own and how to be a leader. So just navigating, you have to make certain mistakes, but all my mistakes were lessons, and I learned and it helped me be the person that I am now.”