For his second album, It Was Written, Nas hired a bunch of hip-hop's biggest producers -- including Dr. Dre, DJ Premier, Stretch, and Trackmasters -- to help him create the musical bed for his daring, groundbreaking rhymes. Although that rhyme style isn't as startling on It Was Written as it was on his debut, Illmatic, Nas has deepened his talents, creating a complex series of rhymes that not only flow, but manage to tell coherent stories as well. Furthermore, Nas often concentrates on creating vignettes about life in the ghetto that never are apolitical or ambivalent. This time around, the production is more detailed and elaborate, which gives the music a wider appeal. Sometimes this is a detriment -- Nas sounds better when he tries to keep it street-level -- but usually, his lyrical force cuts through the commercial sheen. Combined with the spare but deep grooves, his rhymes have a resonance unmatched by most of his mid-'90s contemporaries. Because, no matter how deep his lyrics are, his grooves are just as deep and those bottomless funk and spare beats are what make It Was Written so compulsively listenable.
Performance CreditsNas Primary Artist,Vocals
AZ Track Performer
Foxy Brown Track Performer
Ken "Duro" Ifill Vocals
Kurt Walker Vocals
Joel "JoJo" Hailey Background Vocals
Dave Atkinson Keyboards
Lauryn Hill Vocals,Background Vocals
DJ Kid Capri scratching
Cormega Track Performer
J. Parker Vocals
Technical CreditsAnnie Lennox Composer
Dr. Dre Producer
Live Squad Producer
Nas Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Samuel Barnes Composer
DJ Premier Composer,Producer
Eddie Sancho Engineer
Dave Stewart Composer
Aimee MacAuley Art Direction
Dave Atkinson Producer
Rashad Smith Producer
Poke & Tone Producer
Kirk Goddy Producer
Steve Stoute Executive Producer,Management
Trackmasters Producer,Executive Producer
Andre Young Composer
Kelston Rice Engineer
Jean Claude "Poke" Olivier Composer
L. Lewis Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
''It was Written'' is simply the BEST rap album ever.
this is a really good album. if you like nas, you'll LOVE this albumm. worth every penny!!
It Was Written had a very different feel to it than Illmatic had. Nas lyrics as always were slamming, but the production was lighter than Illmatic. Everyone says Nas flopped after Illmatic but I beg to differ. No artist could have followed up that juggernaut with another effort like that.I've heard critics and even other rappers (i.e. Jay-Z) criticize this album. In some respects It Was Written was a classic of it's kind. It was definitely the hottest album in 96' besides (The Fugees -The Score and 2PAC- All Eyes On Me).
I thought this was Nas' best album to date. He seemed in the zone on this album, real focused. I am a die hard Jay-Z fan but this album is definitely a classic in my eyes. Nas is a genius of the streets and shows it throuhout this album.
Not quite as good as his first Illmatic, but still a shining moment for one of the greatest to come out of Queens. I respect Nas for changing with the times and still coming out with dope material. The best songs on this disc are ''Street Dreams'', ''I gave you Power'', ''Affirmative Action'', ''Suspect'', and of course, the now classic callabo with Lauryn Hill, ''If I Ruled the World'': another masterpiece for nasty Nas!
yes it was written so properly. This is one of my favorite nas joints. just listen to the message,shootouts, and affirmitive action, those joints alone make this album hot. It's hard to believe all those great joints are on the same album. Not to mention the rest ot the album goes hard. Black girl lost has a good message for u ladies out there that are lost. If i ruled the world is already known as a classic and is ft. the buetiful voice of lauryn hill who is crazy talented. This is a good follow up to illmatic.