July 02, 2017

Nas "It Was Written" (July 2, 1996)

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On this day in 1996, NaS released his sophomore album, 'It Was Written.' A more commercial effort, NaS definitely received a fair amount of criticism for his direction on this release, as compared to his debut 'Illmatic.' The numbers show, however, that there was far more praise and had he not released this album, it's arguable whether or not Illmatic would have ever reached as many consumers and been heralded as such a classic. It Was Written was double-platinum, while Illmatic had sold nowhere near that at the time. Props to Steve Stoute and the Trackmasters for their work on the album, and of course, DJ Premier, L.E.S., Dr. Dre, Havoc and more. It surely had its misses, but there's a generation younger than mine that holds this up as their favorite NaS album. Go figure ... what do you think? In advance of the album, Columbia released Nas Is Coming with the July '96 stamp, and it featured The Source Freestyle, Silent Murder, Street Dreams, If I Ruled The World and Watch Dem N#ggas. The version of 'If I Ruled The World' was slightly different, if I remember correctly, but the smash single with Lauryn Hill would prove to be the push NaS needed in '96. Hit the tags to go back and read media reviews, but I remember stories of NaS' car being burned in the bridge (allegedly) in '96. A little dramatic, but I guess everyone feels entitled to a piece of the success when an artist blows up, or maybe it's just a hood myth to be ignored ... You decide.

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