Nas - It Was Written (Gold / Black Marbled Vinyl)


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Illmatic, the 1994 studio debut of Nasir "Nas" Jones, was more than just a critical success for the Queensbridge-based rapper. After such an unprecedented debut record, expectations were understandably high for Nas' follow-up. What came next threw critics and fans for a loop, but was no less influential than Illmatic, and would become the most commercially successful album in the entirety of Nas' discography.

The 1996 sophomore follow-up was titled It Was Written, and in contrast to the urban bleakness of his debut, had Nas dipping his toes into the world of mafioso rap. Amidst production from heavy hitters like Trackmasters, Dr. Dre, L.E.S., Havoc of Mobb Deep, and "Illmatic"-collaborator DJ Premier, among others, Nas weaves evocative narratives of gang warfare, downtrodden neighborhoods, drug deals gone awry, and gangsta triumph, against a backdrop of samples from Sam Cooke, Etta James, the Isley Brothers, and even Chuck Mangione.

It Was Written was not hard up for top-tier guests either, featuring major guest turns from Lauryn Hill and Joel "JoJo" Hailey of K-Ci & JoJo. It also introduced the world to The Firm, the brief Nas-led supergroup featuring rappers AZ, Foxy Brown, and Cormega.

Limited Edition GOLD / BLACK MARBLED double vinyl produced by Columbia Records in 2023.


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 AZ, Cormega and Foxy Brown)

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)

15. Silent Murder

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