Azeem started his first band Telefunken in 1989, which was a combination of live instrumentation and hip-hop. Years of hard work culminated in their first release (1994) on the then newly-formed OM Records. Soon after, Azeem's spoken word lyrics won him a spot on the Lollapalooza tour, which in turn led to a PBS special, two books, and prestige as the third best performance poet in the country. In 1997, Azeem joined Michael Franti in co-writing songs for Spearhead and then touring for two years as a writer and performer with the band.
Finally, in 1999, he decided to focus on bringing together his writing and performing skills as a solo musical act. 2000 saw the release of his first solo EP Garage Opera (Heratik) as well as a track on Afro-Mystik's Future Tropic album. Azeem followed up with the full length album Craft Classic (Stray). Azeem's hilarious vocals and DJ Zeph's funky horn laced beats earned the albums' single "Rubber Glue" the ..2 spot on the CMJ radio rap chart.
In 2003 the 12" single "Family Man" (Bomb Hip-Hop) featured the Bay Area master craftsman Azeem spittin' lyrical gems in his trademark sing-song style over a fat Hydroponic Sound System produced track that combines the nasty funk sound of late 60's New Orleans with dubbed out keys and delays. Also in 2003 Azeem toured Europe with the Bomb Hip-Hop Tour.
In early 2004 Azeem was the frontman on the VU release Mayhemystics (Wide Hive) which has been nominated for a California Music Award.
"And then we heard Azeem. There was this EP and we didn't expect much, but putting our ears to any of the nine tracks, and we were happy that we had someone to listen to that had something to say. There are too many people out there that babble, or claim that in actuality, they don't babble, but we are just too stupid to understand it, as if we care about being called stupid. We rather pay attention to artists like Azeem. That come with honest music, that is just appealing to our mind, body, soul, neck and heart. That's why "Garage Opera" gets some urbansmarts.com props.
We enter the world with a short talking track called "Recyclism". The low booms and vibes of Fanatik carry Azeem who gives us his view on things, talking about the cycles life goes through, the circles people hop, the return to the beginning we are entrapped in. This spoken piece is giving the first blow to the karaoke hip hop out there, to the lack of true new thoughts, that are just chewed several times like a cow does chews it's food. With this we are already taken in, as we know that this will talk to us like an older friend we just respect. That's why we put the pen down, the dishes we were about to wash, we turn off the TV and put aside the mag, and listen. Listen to "Garage Opera Music", that opens with Fanatik strings, while Azeem progresses with his complex rhyme patters that make it more of an effort to follow his words, that still unfold to us like an ancient book of wisdom, also containing the punchlines like "some of us are falcons, you are just some m-seagulls".
With "The 27th Letter" the dopeness on the beat tip continues with Fanatik hooking up a shuffling scratching sound, with the deepness of vibe layers, that allow Azeem to talk less animated, but more hushed. This is also freeing itself from the ones that are holding it back with criticism, as well as acting as the ramp that is breaking through the mass of threat, helping it's people to follow the pioneer on the path it cut through the obstacles. Being given the short not credited interlude, that is featuring a beat and a speech, again conscious in the meaning it proposes, as well as asking for reflection, we then go into "Algebra Wind", that is at times talking about the messengers superiority, over a tame and relaxed beat, that is combined with the scratching of DJ Design. Taking in likeminded souls, "Saturn Finger" features Rational and Dave Dub, who go the way of talking about soldiers, that are whirlwinded around, built up and told about like legends. Being by himself again, "Fuccinemup" has us hear Azeem return to spoken matters, as he breaks down anger, what it does and what it prevents.
We then are treated to the last full track with "The Soniq Wars", a transmission from the emergency center, that is trying to protect sense, reason and fairness. Talking about esoteric emergencies, talking about the smell of fresh concrete, the turf of pride and fallen heroes as well as calling out hallow statues. And ending this EP, "Fat Lady" is a thank you card that is sneaking in the message to follow brethren of the Bay Area that will be heard but likely not taken as serious as it's meant. And maybe this can be said about the whole EP, that it's so short, that it's easy to miss it, too severely un-given shine too, that you might just hear about it for the first time now. But this world is not working on a 'everybody and everything gets all shine and props it rightfully deserves'. That's an utopia right there. But maybe this EP is also utopian in character, talking about all bads and all goods. However, as you let Azeem enter through the door, I advise you to let him sit down and have a good listen to what he has to say.