Street Wise
Street Wise
Studio album by A.Z.


1 July 1991


Hip hop, gangsta rap, East Coast hip hop



Street Wise is the debut album by American rapper A.Z., released in 1991 on Espionage Records. The album was rereleased by Sugar Hill Records the same year of its release, but was only ever issued officially on cassette. The song "What's Going On Black?" was released as a single with a promotional music video.

Azie "A.Z." Faison was a drug dealer who made up to $100,000 a week dealing drugs, but, after a robbery of his stash house which resulted in the deaths of three people, he turned his life around and attempt to steer the youth away from the path he chose. He formed a hip hop group called Mobstyle, with whom he released the albums The Good, The Bad, The Ugly in 1990 and Game of Death in 1992. Street Wise details his experiences as a drug dealer in New York City.

Street Wise, along with Mobstyle's releases, were pivotal in the rise of the gangsta rap scene in New York, which would later merge into the mafioso rap subgenre that dominated East Coast hip hop in the mid-to-late 1990s. The independent releases of A.Z. and Mobstyle's albums would also prove important in the future of hip hop, as most hip hop musicians previously chose to release their records through a major label. 

Track listingEdit

Side A

No. Title
1. "Street Wise"
2. "What's Going On Black?"
3. "Last Days"
4. "I Rock"
5. "What Does It All Mean"

Side B

No. Title
1. "Another Contract"
2. "Gangster Shit (Re-Mix)"
3. "Don't Dis Nobody"
4. "(The D.L.)"
5. "To Be Continued..."
6. "I Rock Again"
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