West Coast rap artist Bad Azz is far from well-known, except within westcoast hip hop circles, but he has worked with and featured alongside some of the best-selling hip-hop artists of all time, including Snoop Dogg, Warren G., and Tupac Shakur (aka 2pac/Makaveli). He is also a former member of hip hop group Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta Crips, also known as DPGC (extented group of Tha Dogg Pound, which is a rap group comprised of Kurupt and Daz Dillinger, with brief cuts featuring Snoop Dogg). Bad Azz was also an original member of the LBC Crew alongside Techniec and Lil C-Style.
Bad Azz was born Jamarr Antonio Stamps, on 27th November 1975 in Hawaiian Gardens, a Long Beach commune, California. Bad Azz grew up with his mother and stepfather, later moving to Long Beach where he attended Woodrow Wilson high school, before he was kicked out due to behavioral problems. After being booted from Wilson High School, Bad Azz began selling drugs on the streets as a way of making money. He describes his experience as a drug dealer, not out of necessity but out of want: "...I didn't have to, to be honest, even when I lived with my stepfather, he had a little job, he kept a little rice in the cupboard, but that wasn't enough for me at the time you know, I had to have me a burger with some cheese on it."
It was around this time that Bad Azz met rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg at Long Beach's V.I.P. Record Store. This meeting gave Bad Azz a new found respect for the rap game and more importantly a view at a new possible career for himself. He then began freestyling on the eastside of Long Beach and performing at various house parties. This move earnt him a place on Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle record label, a sub-label of the Death Row recording company. This is the time in his career when Bad Azz briefly joined the L.B.C. Crew.
The relationship with Doggystyle Records quickly fell apart though, and Bad Azz found himself without a label, doing guest appearances on various projects to keep busy. This included an guest appearance on a track called "Krazy", from the now classic "The Don Killuminati 7 Day Theory" album by Tupac Shakur (Tupac used the alias of Makaveli at the time of the albums release). The multiple platinum album was the last that Tupac fully completed before he was shot dead in 1996.
With the help of such strong guest appearances Bad Azz eventually landed a deal from Priority Records at the age of 23, with the view of releasing a solo album. But before he could fully concentrate on his debut album, Bad Azz filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Tupac Amaru Shakur's estate and various record labels and publishing companies involved regarding the aforementioned "Krazy" track.
Bad Azz filed a lawsuit against Tupac's estate, Deathrow Records, Interscope Records, Joshua's Dream, Interscope Pearl Music, Suge Publishing, and Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of implied contract, misappropriation of voice, accounting, and declaratory relief. In the US District Court of California on Friday, August 20, Bad Azz said that the parties mentioned failed to pay royalties or properly credit him for featuring on, and co-writing, "Krazy."
The suit reads, in part, "As [Bad Azz] and Tupac were co-writers of the song, Tupac and Afeni [2Pac's mother and estate administrator], owed [BadAzz] fiduciary duties of loyalty, trust, and confidence which required Tupac and Afeni to act in the best interests of [Bad Azz] and not to use their fiduciary position for their own benefit or to the detriment of [Bad Azz]. Tupac and Afeni breached their fiduciary duties by 1) not accounting to and paying [Bad Azz] his share of revenue generated by the song; and 2) failing to take steps to assure [Bad Azz] received appropriate label credit as asongwriter."
On September 29, 1998 Bad Azz switched his focus on the future, and released his debut solo album "Word on Tha Street" on Priority Records. The album features appearances from westcoast artists such as Snoop Dogg, Kurupt (of Tha Dogg Pound), Tha Outlawz, and Lady Of Rage.
Bad Azz followed up his debut album nearly three years later as he released "Personal Business" on July 17, 2001. Again the album had an impressive roster of guest appearances, mainly westcoast based artists, including; Ice Cube, Daz Dillnger and Kurupt, Goldie Loc, Snoop Dogg, and Busta Rhymes. Despite the guests the album again failed to place Bad Azz firmly on the Hip Hop map, or the charts, and as a result Priority Records lost patience with him.
Although not worldly renowned like some of his Dogg Pound counterparts, Bad Azz remains a popular MC in his native Los Angeles and is often heard on the radio stations KPWR and KKBT and he released a further two albums in 2003 in the shape of "Money Run" and "Executive Decision" respectiveley.