It Was Written

Nas - It Was Written
Critic Score
Based on 3 reviews
User Score
Based on 391 ratings
1996 Ratings: #66
Liked by 6 people
July 2, 1996 / Release Date
LP / Format
Columbia / Label
Hip Hop, Boom Bap / Genres
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I don't know man, it seems like i'm listening to a illmatic budget edition.
this is pretty much the illmatic cover let's be real
The only real crime Nas' sophomore album committed was not being Illmatic. Outside of some distractingly flashy production and "Black Girl Lost" this is just as much of an exercise by Nas in showing he's one of, if not the best, rappers of all time as his debut is. You could even argue that lyrically Nas is stronger here. Whether he's laying verses over a Sting sample, rapping in the point of view of a gun, or displaying his unmatched storytelling abilities, it's hard to make a case ... read more
Even though Nas follow up to his instant classic isn't as impactful or memorable as Illmatic it is still a great hip hop album with great lyricism and great production but it just doesn't have the push nor the excellence of the debut and often relies upon its success which isn't inherently a bad thing but it can make me just want to go listen to Illmatic instead.

Track Review

Album Intro 7.5/10
The Message 9.5/10
Street Dreams 9/10
I Gave You Power 8/10
Watch Dem Niggas 8.5/10
Take It In ... read more
I don’t mean to be a stereotype, but admittedly this is less exciting than Illmatic. It is enjoyable in its own regard, as in some regards Nas’ storytelling on this LP has matured, from a kid in the streets of New York to a man more conscious of the world around him. This however also plays into its inferiority towards its predecessor, as the kid in New York has such a gritty, energized story to tell, which is undeniably more interesting to me.

But to not base my opinion completely ... read more
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Track List

  1. Album Intro 
  2. The Message
  3. Street Dreams 
  4. I Gave You Power 
  5. Watch Dem Niggas  (featuring Foxy Brown)
  6. Take It In Blood 
  7. Nas Is Coming (featuring Dr. Dre)
  8. Affirmative Action  (featuring The Firm) 
  9. The Set Up (featuring Havoc)
  10. Black Girl Lost (featuring Joel "JoJo" Hailey)
  11. Suspect 
  12. Shootouts 
  13. Live Nigga Rap (featuring Mobb Deep)
  14. If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) (featuring Lauryn Hill)
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Added on: June 21, 2013