Nas Extends “It Was Written” On Its 25-Year Anniversary

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Nas adds “Silent Murder” and “Street Dreams (Bonus Verse)” to his sophomore studio album.

On the same day that the Hip-Hop community celebrates the 10-year anniversary of Kendrick Lamar’s seminal album Section.80, the culture is also honoring the 25th anniversary of Nas’s second album. Arriving two years after his classic debut album Illmatic, It Was Written had enormous shoes to fill, and although it initially didn’t live up to the hype of his previous work, Nas’ sophomore album has gone on to be one of his most respected records.

In honor of It Was Written‘s quarter of a century anniversary, the veteran rapper has released an extended version of the triple-platinum album.

Rapper Nas stands backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards September 4, 1996 in New York City. The awards honored music videos produced by popular artists such as Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica and Alanis Morissette.
Evan Agostini/Getty Images

In Nas‘ newly released version of It Was Writtenthe Grammy award-winning lyricist adds two new songs to his infamous follow-up to Illmatic. While the recently released “Life Is Like A Dice Game” doesn’t make the cut, Nas does include “Silent Murder” and an alternate version of It Was Written‘s second hit single “Street Dreams” that features a different third verse.

On the 25th anniversary of It Was Written, how does Nas’ sophomore album stack up against the rest of his discography? Contemplate it over while revisiting the special expanded version of the album below.

Tracklist:

1. Album Intro
2. The Message
3. Street Dreams
4. I Gave You Power
5. Watch Dem N*ggas
6. Take It In Blood
7. Nas Is Coming
8. Affirmative Action
9. The Set Up
10. Black Girl Lost
11. Suspect
12. Shootouts
13. Live N*gga Rap
14. If I Ruled the World (Imagine That) (feat. Ms. Lauryn Hill)
15. Silent Murder
16. Street Dreams (Bonus Verse)

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