Google Images: Nas, It Was Written
"Illmatic I was boss, It was written I flossed" - Nas: Last Real N---a Alive, Godson album 2002
Summertime is a time for warm weather, barbeques, boat parties, day, parties, fourth of July just a good ol time. Block buster movies, music festival all happens in the summert time, the majority of my adult life most of the time i'm at work so I could care less about those events of summer. The one thing that has been tried and true and consistant in my life is the summer album. In 2016 some summer album are coming out; Artist like "The Party Next Door, Rae Sremmurd, De La Soul, Fantasia, and many others has albums coming before the fall.
Well as I continue in this series, once again I will take it back to summer of 1996. In a couple of past post I spoke on the 20th aniversary of Jay Z "Reasonable Doubt" In 1996 Jay Z was new to the scene and back then no of us saw what was to become of his career. Also during this same summer the east coast, west coast beef was at it's peak. Jay Z was mentioned in some of the Late Tupac disses as he was going against east coast rap artist.
Another artist who was also mentioned by Tupac during the east/west beef was Nas. And during this beef on July 2nd 1996, Nas had released his sophmore album It was written. "If I ruled the world feat Lauryn Hill" Was the summer time anthem of that year. After his 1994 debut of Illmatic, Nas showed he was in the game to stay with IWR. The videos was more dramtic courtesy of video director Hype Williams who was the premiere director of videos at the time in the 1990's. He made Nas videos look larger than life on the small screen.
It was written was a vast difference from Illmatic but in a good way. Nas is what I like to call a introspective artist. He gives the narrative of what is happening around him and then he put into a song and you can see where he was coming from. "I gave you power" He was rapping from the perspective as if he was a gun and tells all the ways a gun can cause damage when it is in the wrong hands.
He gives an observation of the everyday struggle of a black girl from the inner city on "Black Girl Lost". The girl who likes to party, the girl who wants more from a college degree, the girl who like to runs schemes on every guy were all themes on this song. And that song stands out to me, I was fifteen when this album came out. As I was entering into high school, some of the girls I associated with was going through some of these changes.
And to hear the male perspective on this topic was interesting and still is to this day. Nas is conscious and also could be flashy as well. On "Street Dreams" he tells the story of the hustler on the rise, to what type car he drives, the trips he makes on a drug run and the women type he deals with. Even the video for this song is flashy, it was his version of the casino movie.
The man wore a pink suit, it does not get no more flashier than that. He advises of who to watch out for on"Watch Dem Ni--as" Nas gave his obersativion on watching those that are close in your inner circle. Becuase someone is always trying take the top spot. It was written was a dope album, I love this as much as I love Illmatic. There is always a debate when it comes to Nas catalong of albums and which ones are his classics. Well you have to mention It was written, this was a classic and another important album that came out during the dark days of hip-hop.
Once again funny how time files when your having fun............