It Was Written turns 25.
In honor of the anniversary of his second studio album, which was released on July 2, 1996, Nas is taking a trip down memory lane. In an Instagram post on Friday, the rap icon reflected on being a young MC hungry for sophomore success.
“Young and determined. 25 years ago with a lap top. No examples to follow but myself. I knew that It Was Written,” he wrote alongside a throwback black-and-white photo of himself seated behind a desk with a laptop.
Nas went on to thank his collaborators and fans. “Thank you @stevestoute for helping me strategize, for pushing me and for helping me make my second album,” he said. “Thank you Trackmasters & L.E.S, STRETCH (RIP) ,Premier and Dr. Dre for producing it and every artist on this album WE DID IT. .. and to everyone for the love today. Thank you.”
It Was Written, the follow-up to Nas’ debut Illmatic, opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and went on to become his best-selling album, featuring contributions from Dr. Dre, Mobb Deep, Foxy Brown, and Lauryn Hill, who appeared on “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That).”
Earlier this week, Nas released the completed version of his “Life Is Like a Dice Game” freestyle, which was originally recorded as part of his Illmatic recording sessions in the early ’90s. The finished track was produced by Hit-Boy and features Cordae and Freddie Gibbs.
This month is also the 30th anniversary of Main Source’s Live at the Barbeque, released July 23, 1991, which marked Nas’ first recorded guest appearance.