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Nas - It Was Written
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AuthorTopic:  Nas - It Was Written
88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:18:13 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88


listened to this for the first time in a while recently. there's a couple throwaway tracks, but there's also some of nas' best songs.

album intro - skip.

the message - nice beat. no complaints about this one. nas does his thing.

street dreams - relatively speaking, this is pretty great for a crossover attempt. i fucks with it. the casino themed music vid was dope. the hook is nice and catchy.

i gave you power - the crown jewel. concept, nas' raps, preemo's beat -- all A+. maybe nas' best song.

watch dem n*ggas - another track that i don't have much to say about, but in a good way. it fits.

take it in blood - this song is no good to me. this song is specifically the beginning of nas' nosedive in beat taste, imo. you can hear that "shitty nas beat" sound on this track. it's the beginning of the end. i cut it from my version.

nas is coming - i've never understood the hate for this track. the beat's fine, and nas does his thing. maybe it just caught people off guard? i don't know. would love to hear someone's explanation of why this song gets shitted on, because i'm not seeing it right now. take it in blood is worthy of more complaints, imo.

affirmative action - classic posse cut. the way az's double voice brings the beat in is fucking dope. nice beat too.

the set up - nice havoc beat. love the back alley atmosphere in this beat. nas matches the atmosphere with his paranoid vocal tones.

black girl lost - this is the other track i cut. nas' raps are passable, but the beat, singing, and overall style is too soft, especially in the context of the two tracks it's between on this tracklist. it's just such a jarring aside from the tone of the songs around it.

suspect - this fucking song. i looooooove this song. it deserves more love. i never see it mentioned, but it's one of my fav nas songs. it's up there to me with i gave you power. that beat. the affect of the police siren at the beginning. you can just hear the energy in nas' voice. he knows he's got a good one here.

shootouts - another great one. i never realized until listening this time, but there's rza influence on this beat. listen to the bassline on this beat. that's a rza style bassline. i like the beat change ups on this track a lot.

live n*gga rap - i know this will be an unpopular opinion, but this track is disappointing to me. specifically only because it follows the one-two punch of suspect and shootouts. the drums don't hit nearly as hard. it feels like a mobb deep track, rather than a nas track. and coming right after two of nas' best tracks, it seems off to me. i'm not saying the track isn't dope, not at all. i'm just saying it doesn't sit well behind suspect and shootouts.

if i ruled the world - speaking of unearned tonal shifts, this one is nearly as bad as black girl lost. i know this track is an all time nas classic, but it's really out of place after the dark, paranoid atmosphere of the whole second half of this album. it's like nas made the second half of this album in the winter, and then recorded black girl lost and if i ruled the world in the summer, and some stupid exec forced him to add them to the tracklist. unfortunately, we all know there was no stupid exec. nas was that stupid exec.

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:18:40 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
man, that one-two punch of suspect and shootouts. seriously. i'm a big fan of those two tracks. it's too bad this album's kind of a tonal mess.

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Daddy Alfredo (Admin)

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:20:29 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy Alfredo
i like "the message" better than "i gave you power" but at the start of i gave u power wen he goes "damnnnnn" i get wigger chills. this album is dope. "if i ruled the world" is one of those 3 am driving around smoking weed by urself tracks. love it

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:23:15 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
i'm a fan of the track on its own, but it's so out of place on the second half of this album.

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no mask

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:27:04 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for no mask
illmatic-4.5/5

it was written- 3.5/5

such a plummet.

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:27:37 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
too general. get specific.

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Nassau William Senior

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:32:43 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Nassau William Senior
Take It In Blood is way better than NaS Is Coming. The lyrics are stellar.

And Live is one of the best songs on the album. How can that be a disappointment?

Other than that, you pretty much summed it up. GP.

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Nassau William Senior

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:33:58 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Nassau William Senior
taking no mask seriously is just impossible at this point.

Illmatic 5.0
It Was Written 4.7

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no mask

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:38:35 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for no mask
as i've stated on here a few times.the sellout attempt and artistic compromise was blatant. the production style is way different then what fans wanted after illmatic. its not raw for the most part or boom bap. its more polished with synths on a bunch of tracks, weaker drums, cleaner sound.some straight up weak beats too! he could have had way better features too.

not a fan of him re doing the kurtis blow classic with "the message" and having lauryn hill singing on there is like a 180 degree change in direction from the raw, no nonsense real rap style of illmatic.

rhymes were still above average but not on the level of illmatic and his subject matter started to get gimmicky/thug image/ money rap, more debased, demoralized. etc. in an attempt to get money. he could have still got money you know -if he kept it more raw. he took the whole sound way too far away from what im sure most were hoping to get.

such a disappointment of an album and the beginning of nas being a disappointing artist with many albums full of shit beats.

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litney spears

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:40:37 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for litney spears
no mask it’s a classic album fuck off the crack

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Tm1994

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:43:30 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Tm1994
Classic album, dope start to finish, GP 88.

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:46:37 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
honestly, i agree with what no mask said there. i wouldn't have before this recent re-listen, but he's right. only comment he said there that i'm not 100% on board with is the comment about the message. that's whatever to me, personally.

i still contend that i gave you power, suspect, and shootouts are some of nas' best tracks, though, so - even though nas took a huge turn in direction on this album, there's some pretty off base attempts at mainstream crossover, and the tone of this album is a total mess - i'm glad this album exists, just for the sake of those three songs, at the very least.

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Nassau William Senior

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:47:28 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Nassau William Senior
the beginning of nas being a disappointing artist

I love your fairytales about hip hop history.

It's got to be pretty disappointing for NaS to perform “Illmatic” with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center two decades after the album dropped. Very disappointing career, for sure.

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no mask

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:49:51 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for no mask
^agree with that. some great songs on there but overall a mess.

and lol at nws giving it a 4.7/5. what dimension do you live in? its alright-i know you have funny taste.

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Nassau William Senior

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:50:27 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Nassau William Senior
you think Juelz Santana makes classic albums, you fucking retard

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no mask

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:52:04 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for no mask
the National Symphony Orchestra can eat a dick.


its funny . after it was written was released you could see the fans who didnt get it. and nas could never do any wrong to them to this day! wow.

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no mask

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:55:48 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for no mask
juelz santana hasnt made classics and i never said he did.

illmatic > any juelz album but juelz albums> any post illmatic nas album.

nas the better emcee-no debating that but damn he sucks at picking beats.

i wish he just did illmatic pt 2 with the same producers after illmatic. i have many times wondered how much dope shit nas would have dropped if he stayed true.

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:57:48 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
And Live is one of the best songs on the album. How can that be a disappointment?

i just don't feel like it flows well with suspect and shootouts. those songs are so "nas". that nas sound, in the best way. but live n*gga rap is the mobb deep sound. go back and listen to that track right now. the recording of nas' vocals even sound different. in the end, he comes off as the guest on that track, rather than mobb deep. place that right behind two of the best examples of the "nas" sound, and it feels off to me. maybe i'm crazy.

i'm not saying i don't like the track. i'm just saying it doesn't flow well with suspect and shootouts. it's a complete change in tone, regardless of how dope both tones are. the tracklist sequencing here, consequently, comes off more as compilation or greatest hits sequencing, than official studio album sequencing. imo, it should have been on hell on earth, not it was written.

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:58:50 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
okay, guys. let's keep the topic on it was written, lol.

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Nassau William Senior

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:06:07 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Nassau William Senior
The sound change was happening with EVERY single artist in the 90's...listen to Xzibit's 2nd album compared to his 1st. Same with Cypress Hill. Same with Biggie. I'm sure if I really thought about it, there are probably 10 examples identical to NaS.

It was so common back in the 90's that it was just a slight adjustment for me, as the listener. It was like, oh shit this sounds fresh and new, since years went by between most 1st and 2nd albums. The new sound was welcome with time passing.

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Nassau William Senior

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:13:37 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Nassau William Senior
juelz albums> any post illmatic nas album.

you jump the shark at least once a day on UGHH, so this is just today's made up story

but to laugh some more, can you post Juelz best album. The one that is better than The Lost Tapes, Life is Good and Distant Relatives. Or even Stillmatic.

I'll wait...

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Daddy Alfredo (Admin)

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:15:35 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy Alfredo
i like back like cooked crack 1 and 2 better than ne of his albums. juelz is really bad rapper no mask. hes an adlib rapper to. those first string guys in dipset suck other than cam. jones and juelz were awful.

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:15:35 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
that's a fair comment, nws. i can't argue against that. life after death is certainly far more all-over-the-map than it was written is.

however, i will say that on a track to track basis in this album, there are some tonal changes that just don't work for me. the set up -> black girl lost -> suspect, being the worst example on the album for me. i mean, what in the world is black girl lost doing between those two tracks? it's like if right in the middle of that alleyway chase scene in the departed, scorsese cut to a scene of alec baldwin wooing kathy bates (who had yet to appear on screen in the film, thusfar) on a veranda. and then he randomly cut back to the awesome chase scene (kathy bates never seen or heard from again in the film). it wouldn't make sense, marty! even, as i said in my last comment, suspect -> shootouts -> live n*gga rap, doesn't really work for me. slap if i ruled the world on the end of that, and you got a total mess, imo, haha. iiwii.

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dj rolo

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:17:20 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for dj rolo
"Take It In Blood" is no good? ...this forum def fell off

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Nassau William Senior

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:18:41 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Nassau William Senior
but live n*gga rap is the mobb deep sound

listen to Biggie's Unbelievable. Does that have a Biggie sound or a Preemo sound? Still a great track on a classic album.

This was another thing that was happening a lot in the 90's. Some of the Dogg Pound's first album was clearly made for the Snoop album.

On GZA's first album, he had a track of just Killah Priest, lol. This was commonplace in the 90's.

The only misstep, as 88 pointed out, is Black Girl Lost. Hence the 4.7 rating.

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CAChri$t(IE)

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:21:34 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for CAChri$t(IE)
Take It In Blood a certified classic

88 you sounding like etw with his bad opinions

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eseph84

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:21:48 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for eseph84   Click Here to Email eseph84
take it in blood and black girl lost are such gem beats, are you fucking crazy???

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:22:17 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
i stand behind my take it in blood comments. it's not a terrible song, but you can hear that "shitty nas beat" sound creeping up for the very first time in that track. even nas' vocal tone. he has that "i'm inspired" tone that he never used before, or anywhere else on this album, that he'd default to a lot on stillmatic and god's son. take it in blood birthed one mic.

so, even though i don't think it's a bad song, the signs it shows of nas' later bad work make it hard to listen to for me, because it just makes me think of the "shitty nas beat" sound that would take over later.

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:23:40 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
On GZA's first album, he had a track of just Killah Priest, lol. This was commonplace in the 90's.

i removed bible from my version for that very reason. that song makes no sense on liquid swords, regardless of whether it's a good track or not.

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Daddy Alfredo (Admin)

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:24:29 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy Alfredo
daddy alfredo presents.....the kiss the kitten ep


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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:26:09 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
88 you sounding like etw with his bad opinions

lol, i don't like one song and i'm suddenly on etw levels? damn. slippery slopes on this here ughh halfpipe.

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:28:52 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
take it in blood and black girl lost are such gem beats, are you fucking crazy???

eseph, i'm not even going to acknowledge your love for black girl lost. to each his own.

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Daddy Alfredo (Admin)

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:29:55 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Daddy Alfredo
lol at bad opinions. dont drag me into this nomask/nws/88 soap opera. i love all 3 but yall argue everyday. no mask with the wild claims and nws and 88 antagonizing him to death. at the same time, this is wats keeping the board alive with the aoty threads. carry on yall jokers.


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CAChri$t(IE)

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:38:27 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for CAChri$t(IE)
lmao

See: Investigative Reports

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Tm1994

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:38:37 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Tm1994
but live n*gga rap is the mobb deep sound

It was made for hell on earth, nas bought it.

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:42:36 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
tm1994, not sure where you got that information from, but it rings true to me. i believe it.

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Seme__one

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:44:00 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Seme__one
I like posts like this, it makes me listen to these old records

been on a Mobb Deep kick because of that other thread

out of interest no mask how old were you when this came out?

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:45:12 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
share your thoughts, after you listen, seme.

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Nassau William Senior

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:52:33 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Nassau William Senior
link is dead tippi

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88

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:00:01 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for 88
dead to me too. stop campaigning fake news here.

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tippi dink

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:00:31 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for tippi dink   Click Here to Email tippi dink
https://www.stopthebreaks.com/gems/nas-live-n*gga-rap-was-meant-for-mobb-deep-album/

i don't understand why it's not working, just copy paste it lol. gino can you delete the other two links for me?

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tippi dink

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:03:57 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for tippi dink   Click Here to Email tippi dink
alright i don't understand this at all lol, the link works but when i copy paste it here it doesn't. something in the link must be getting automatically filtered out by the forum.

just fucking google "nas hell on earth stopthebreaks" and it's the first link.

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tippi dink

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:07:10 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for tippi dink   Click Here to Email tippi dink
In an interview with Complex, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy recounted how the duo originally recorded “Live n*gga Rap” for their third album, Hell on Earth, but Nas bought it off them for It Was Written.

With his commercially friendly singles like “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)” and “Street Dreams” climbing the music charts, Nas was looking for that gully, Queensbridge sound to balance out the album.

Since he couldn’t get the Juice Crew head honcho, Marley Marl, on his second project, Nas went and copped the next best thing – Havoc’s grimey production.

Prodigy: "We recorded that for Hell On Earth. Nas called us when he was working on his album like, ‘Yo, I want to buy that song from y’all that we did.’ I was real reluctant at first because that shit was crazy hot and that was our Nas feature for our album. He was like, ‘I want to buy that shit.’ After thinking about it for a while, we sold it to him. We figured his shit would be bigger than our shit and it’d be good promotion for us because it’s Nas."

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Seme__one

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:07:55 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Seme__one
Hip-hop heads, did you know that Nas’ classic joint “Live n*gga Rap” off It Was Written was originally created for Mobb Deep’s Hell on Earth?





In an interview with Complex, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy recounted how the duo originally recorded “Live n*gga Rap” for their third album, Hell on Earth, but Nas bought it off them for It Was Written.

With his commercially friendly singles like “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)” and “Street Dreams” climbing the music charts, Nas was looking for that gully, Queensbridge sound to balance out the album.

Since he couldn’t get the Juice Crew head honcho, Marley Marl, on his second project, Nas went and copped the next best thing – Havoc’s grimey production.

Prodigy: We recorded that for Hell On Earth. Nas called us when he was working on his album like, ‘Yo, I want to buy that song from y’all that we did.’ I was real reluctant at first because that shit was crazy hot and that was our Nas feature for our album. He was like, ‘I want to buy that shit.’ After thinking about it for a while, we sold it to him. We figured his shit would be bigger than our shit and it’d be good promotion for us because it’s Nas.

It Was Written has gone on to become one of Nas’ most successful and widely regarded albums. The record debuted on top of the Billboard 200 and has since moved over 2 million copies in the US only.

Lupe Fiasco once said it was his favourite album and 2Pac himself was inspired by “I Gave You Power” to create “Me and My Girlfriend.”

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Tm1994

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:08:03 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Tm1994
88 P says it in a complex interview, im sure he does in the book aswell, i only copied this part but the rest he explains that his verse on it was actually on the LA LA record but he took it off.

Prodigy: “We recorded that for Hell On Earth. Nas called us when he was working on his album like, ‘Yo, I want to buy that song from y’all that we did.’ I was real reluctant at first because that shit was crazy hot and that was our Nas feature for our album. He was like, ‘I want to buy that shit.’ After thinking about it for a while, we sold it to him. We figured his shit would be bigger than our shit and it’d be good promotion for us because it’s Nas.

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tippi dink

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:10:05 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for tippi dink   Click Here to Email tippi dink
LOL, this is too much. i'm fucking dying right now. we all posted the same thing

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no mask

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:10:10 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for no mask
its true many artist were coming with cleaner beats after '94 especially after 95 and it didnt work well for most.

at semeone. i'm 39. why?.

and its not just the beats with this album . its the change in song style, singing lauryn hill, gimmicky fake thug image/content not to mention the corny pink jump suit in the street dreams video.

juelz was lyrically average and bad at times but sometimes above average. but he makes up for lacking lyrical ability with his unique flow, style, personality, charisma,intensity and ability to pick dope beats. many classic albums had average emcees. dont need to be a lyrical mastermind to make a dope album!

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Seme__one

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:20:39 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Seme__one
at semeone. i'm 39. why?.

^ just trying to see the context you coming at some of these albums

you just come out with some random shit, like Dipset>>>>>>>>>>Wu.....I mean you must be trolling

I get you have different taste in music, thats cool, but typing shit like that? really? Maybe you are just one of those guys who like to be different just for the sake of it, confrontational just to be different, or just straight trolling like observe, maybe you doing the long troll

but

juelz albums> any post illmatic nas album.....really?

I just have never heard anyone come out with these gems....and I am not trying to get into a pointless war here

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Grafh

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:29:51 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for Grafh
It's a cool album, I appreciate it for what it is. I'm not as big on it as a lot of fans or critics though if I'm being honest. It's just such a messy album in terms of themes. Sounds like a collection of random Nas songs rather than a focused album like Illmatic. Every track has a different and unique feel, and that's cool and all, but there isn't that one underlying theme, sound or concept tying it all together so it comes across more like a mixapes or playlist for me.

Really though you can't argue with the quality of music here regardless of how it feels as a whole. Also listening to "Shootouts" now, you can definitely feel the RZA influence. Such a dope track.

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:34:12 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for no mask
of course its not dipset>wu tang as far as classic albums, subject matter, cultural impact, relevance etc. i said dip>wu cause many were saying g-unit>dipset. however i do think dipset dropped more dope material and that cam'ron is doper then any wu emcee. jr writer better than most wu emcees too.

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:40:47 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for bread = money
this was the first time I remember being disappointed listening to a hip hop album. but it's not a bad album, in fact it's pretty good.

the problem is nothing on here comes anywhere close to the sheer lyrical and musical perfection of NY State Of Mind, Life's A Bitch, World Is Yours, Halftime or Memory Lane etc...the beats here are solid but don't have that same impeccable melodic sheen combined with rawness which made Illmatic such a revelation.

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posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:45:18 PM    Click Here to See the Profile for no mask
^yup!

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