It Was Written [Explicit]
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It Was Written [Explicit]

July 2, 1996

Song Title
Album Intro (Album Version)
The Message
Street Dreams
I Gave You Power (Album Version)
Watch Dem Niggas (Album Version) [Explicit]
Take It In Blood (Album Version)
Nas Is Coming (Album Version)
Affirmative Action (Album Version)
The Set Up (Album Version)
Black Girl Lost (Album Version)
Suspect (Album Version) [Explicit]
Shootouts (Album Version)
Live Nigga Rap (Album Version) [Explicit]
If I Ruled the World (Imagine That) (Album Version)

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: July 2, 1996
  • Release Date: July 2, 1996
  • Label: Columbia
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 58:30
  • Genres:
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • ASIN: B00138J14Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,959 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars While Nas was Nasty, before Esco and Nastradamus October 28, 2005
Format:Audio CD
People lend so much street credibility to the Illmatic CD - which it no doubt deserves. Yet "It Was Written" was an equally impressive album for the time it was released. To me, this is ALMOST as much a classic as Illmatic was.

Starting with "The Message", this album is a journey into the mind of one of the most prolific lyricists hip hop has ever known.

"Street Dreams" samples the same song sampled for countless hip hop tracks (most notably 2Pac for All Eyez On Me). No other has done it so well.

"I Gave You Power" is a DJ Premier track. Classic Primo. An extremely catchy loop used to classic Primo drumwork. Nas tells the story of a gun (from the gun's vantage point), which is an interesting and creative concept that makes for a dope track.

"Affirmative Action", with the original Firm ensemble (with Cormega), is the world's official introduction to the Firm (then Nas, AZ, Foxy and Cormega - which became Nas, AZ, Foxy and Nature). This is a great track from beginning to end, with no weak point. Tight beat, great opening from AZ to Mega Montana straight through to the extended finish by Foxy Brown.

"Take It In Blood", "Shootouts", "If I Ruled The World" and "Silent Murder" (Bonus Track) were all notable additions to the album.

As far as hip hop albums go, this is almost as good as it gets. A solid contribution to the game by Nas. If you love hip hop, you own this album.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most Underrated album ever!!! January 23, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Even some hardcore Nas fans sleep on how classic this album is. True, Illmatic is, and will always be not just Nas' greatest album, but Hip-Hop's greatest album as well. But with It was Written, Nas displays a creativity that exceeds any other album in the genre. His story-telling is flawless. Many sleep on the stories he tells throughout the album:

-2nd verse-The message, with a timeless quotable: A thug changes, and love changes, and best friends become strangers

-Of course, the brilliant extended metaphor, I Gave You Power rapped from the perspective of a gun. Also notice how the skit at the end of Street Dreams leads straight into it. Brialliant!

-last verse-watch Dem Niggaz-I slept on this story until I listened close enough. "The old timers, advise you to the drama that's ahead drama with the feds, not listnening just bobbing your head. Nas paints pictures with his words.

-The Set Up

-First verse-Suspect, which I believe is the best story he tells on the album. I can imagine a movie scene because he paints the picture so vividly.

That only tells half the story though. (no pun intended) The production is top notch. Nas was laced with beats that match his vocals almost perfectly.

2.The Message-10/10 Great beat and sick lyrics. "1 life, 1 love, 1 king

3.Street Dreams-10/10 Classic beat, with the lyrics to match

4.I gave You Power-10/10 Classic concept song

5.Watch Dem Niggaz-10/10 Slept on classic with mellow beat. "I got no game it's just some b****es understand my story"

6.Take It In Blood-10/10 Another Classic with scratches on the hook, classic beat and Nas kills it.

7.Nas is Coming-9.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic by Nas August 2, 2004
Format:Audio CD
When this album first came out in 1996, there were negative reviews about this LP because they claimed it was not better than his 1994 debut album "Illmatic". They are completely wrong. I gotta say this album is simply amazing, a CLASSIC! People who thinks this album is wack probably listens to Eminem, 50 cent or Nelly. This album is just dope. Anywayz, I feel that this album should deserve more credit as being a CLASSIC, cuz there are no albums in the last couple years that could actually match the brilliance of Nas' lyrics and unorthodox flow. Nas has one thing that many rappers these days lack, and that is substance. When all the other rappers are rappin about girls, money and sex. Nas raps about deep essential things such as life, street stories and knowledge. This album is little more mafioso than his other releases, it's still AMAZING! Everyone get this album.

1. Intro- Worth listening to. It's aite.

2. The Message - Amazing song, some consider this song to be a diss towards Tupac, however still amazing. A+

3. Street Dreams- Pretty cool song, kinda commerical for my taste, stil amazing though. B+

4. I gave you Power- WOW!!!!...Just AMAZING!!!...Possibly the most creative rap song ever. Nas raps about his unique perspective as a gun. WOW! A++

5. Watch Dem Niggas- Kinda boring track. Foxy's chorus is kinda annoying, good lyrics though. B-

6. Take in Blood- Another good track. I love the beat in this song. A

7. Nas is Coming- A song that attempted to stop the east coast vs. west coast rap war. It has an annoying chorus. i don't really like this song. B-

8. Affirmative Action- The Firm's first song. Sick verses by AZ, Cormega, Nas and even Foxy makes this song hot. A+

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lyrically better than illmatic June 29, 2006
By stark
Format:Audio CD
From a lyrical standpoint, this album is probably one of the best of all time, superior in that area even to illmatic (although that album probably had better production). It's a pure old school street album though, everyone will not be able to appreciate it. If you see any bad reviews of this album just look at the other things the reviewer has reviewed and see what they actually like; then you will probably understand why they didn't like this. Their either little teenage white chicks that think that jay z is the greatest rapper in the history of the world, or their fans of stuff like southern rap and the Ying Yang twins.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stillmatic of 1996
Son still got the skills,the Firm s*** was wacc but It bangin.Album Intro!!!,The Message!!!,Street Dreams!!!{checc out the remix!!! ft r kelly},I Gave You Power!!! Read more
Published 17 days ago by SxS
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Classic 90's hip hop. This is Nas at his finest. This album along with Illmatic are by far his best works.
Published 1 month ago by Anubatos
5.0 out of 5 stars just as classic and influential as illmatic
this is just to pay my respects to Nas second was impossible to follow up dont paint the Mona Lisa twice.but this album is a thing in itself. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SFNico
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Nas album!
This was the album that introduced me to Nas and hearing his single hit "If I ruled the world" (featuring Lauryn Hill) is what put me onto him. Read more
Published 7 months ago by NightWolf-1990
5.0 out of 5 stars Nas One of Raps Best!
Nas is ine of the greatest for a reason, he's a lyricist and I'm 19 there's nothing like Good Hip Hop Music people who are talking about things.
Published 7 months ago by Winfred
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Illmatic!
In my opinion this album was better than the classic illmatic all I have to say that it was written was a good follow up and very successful
Published 9 months ago by Semaj Tha Record Playa1999
5.0 out of 5 stars NAS...nothing more to say!
This album is pure perfection...real hip hop at its finest...cant go wrong with this one here trust me on this.
Published 10 months ago by Christopher Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is proof that the "Sophomore Cruse " is a myth
This is by far in my opinion the quintessence of eastcoast mafioso rap (besides Only Built For Cuban Linx of corce) nas proves in this album that he is versatile making both radio... Read more
Published 14 months ago by denze9
5.0 out of 5 stars Esco!
Many panned this lp b/c it followed his super influential classic debut. This album nonetheless has many gems and deep lyrics behind impressive production. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ogar Ogar
4.0 out of 5 stars Epitome of Nasdom
This is probably his best work to date-which isn't to say it will be his best ever. My favorite track is Black Girl Lost because he went under her skirt on that one. Read more
Published 22 months ago by fanofthearts585
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