In Hip Hop History Today: Nas released It Was Written July, 2 1996

It Was Written is the second studio album by Nas, released July 2, 1996 on Columbia Records. Following the moderate sales success of his acclaimed debut album, Illmatic (1994), Nas chose to focus his efforts in a more mainstream direction. Primarily produced by Trackmasters, it is a departure for him from the raw, underground tone of his debut album towards a more polished, mainstream sound. The album features mafioso and gangsta themes, and marks the first appearance of Nas’s short-lived supergroup The Firm, which included rappers Foxy Brown, AZ, and Cormega. The album proved to be Nas’s most commercially successful release, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. It also heralded Nas’s mainstream popularity. It has been viewed by music writers as one of Nas’ best works and remains Nas’ best-selling release, with over 4 million copies in the United States alone. Listen to It Was Written below.

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