Nas’ sophomore album, It Was Written, was released in 1996, making Friday (July 2) its 25th anniversary.
To commemorate the milestone, the Queensbridge-bred Hip Hop legend and Sony Music’ Legacy Recordings division has unleashed an expanded version of the project featuring bonus tracks “Silent Murder” and “Street Dreams” (bonus verse). It also includes all original 14 tracks in their exact running order.
It Was Written followed Nas’ 1994 lllmatic debut, which quickly established the Columbia Records artist as an impenetrable rhyming force. But while that album hit the Billboard 200 at No. 12, It Was Written landed at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, selling more than 250,000 copies its opening week.
Anchored by the singles “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)” featuring Lauryn Hill and “Street Dreams,” the album is a certified Hip Hop classic. It also marks the top-selling album of Nas’ career with its recent 3x-platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Executive produced by Nas, Steve Stoute and Trackmasters, It Was Written also introduced the Hip Hop supergroup The Firm featuring Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ and Cormega. Additional guest artists and producers include Dave Atkinson, Delight, DJ Kid Capri, DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, Kirk Goddy, Mobb Deep’s Havoc, K-Ci & JoJo singer JoJo, L.E.S., Live Squad, J. Parker, Poke & Tone, Rashad Smith, Richard Travali Kurt Walker and others.
Both the “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)” and “Street Dreams” videos have been upgraded to high resolution HD video for the 25th anniversary.
Check out “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) above and the full expanded version of It Was Written below.