Real-time tracking of RNA expression can provide insight into the mechanisms used to generate cellular diversity, as well as help determine the underlying causes of disease. Here we present the exploration of azide-modified nucleoside analogues and their ability to be metabolically incorporated into cellular RNA. We report robust incorporation of adenosine analogues bearing azide handles at both the 2'- and N6-positions; 5-methylazidouridine was not incorporated into cellular RNA. We further demonstrate selectivity of our adenosine analogues for transcription and polyadenylation. We predict that azidonucleosides will find widespread utility in examining RNA functions inside living cells, as well as in more complex systems such as tissues and living animals.