From the Vault...


"It Was Written"

© Columbia Records

Year of Release: 1996

track listing
  • Album Intro
  • The Message
  • Street Dreams
  • I Gave You Power
  • Watch Dem Niggas
  • Take It In Blood
  • Nas Is Coming
  • Affirmative Action
  • The Set Up
  • Black Girl Lost
  • Suspect
  • Shootouts
  • Live Nigga Rap
  • If I Ruled The World
    (Imagine That)

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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    "It Was Written"

    In 1996 Nas (Nasir Jones) released It Was Written, and it would later reach #1 on the Album chart. For nearly ten years now, I have learned to appreciate Rap music as a source of music that will remain to stay for a long time, and I have given this type of music an open ear, and found that rap music can be appreciated. Sure, there are some rap songs that easily be an earsore, but there are others that can easily be entertaining from a source of music where most people either like it, or hate it.

    Most rap albums begin with some kind of Intro, and they are mostly short. Nas' intro simply states the intro to the album as It Was Written. "The Message" has some harsh lyrics (as most rap songs do), and with the title such as "The Message," I can't help to hear a similarity to the chorus heard on Grandmaster Flash's song of the same name. "Street Dreams," uses the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" chorus, with more explicit lyrics. This song has the inspiration of such artists as Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G., and could easily be a contender hit on the rap and/or pop charts. (This one gets a "thumbs up")

    "I Gave You Power" has the "don't give a sh!t about anything" lyrics, and recites about guns/crime. It has a slow beat, and fast rapping lyrics/vocals. (To some, this one maybe an earsore) "Watch Dem Niggas" has some very cool music, and the chorus gets you thinking:

    Watch dem niggas close to you
    and make sure they do what they're supposed to do
    cause you know they be thinking about smoking you
    never personal nowadays it's the way

    Topics such as gambling and drugs are in "Take It In Blood." Government and crime is heard in "Nas Is Coming." And with a title such as "Affirmative Action," crime is once again featured. (This one's got a cool beat, and Nas gets some help with The Firm: Az, Foxy Brown and Carmega.)

    Funky beats controls the music in "The Set Up," The music on "Black Girl Lost" has a somewhat 1970s Soul sound, as it meets up with the 1990s Rap.

    "Suspect," "Shootouts" and "Live Nigga Rap" features Nas' rapping as best as any other, with the concentration on the songs' lyric content. The album's closing song, "If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)" also features some much better fancy rapping, and the music is just as cool: funky, bouncy, and the chorus featuring female singers makes this song even more enjoyable.

    The typical topics in today's rap music, Sex, Drugs, Crime, and Explicit Lyrics is all featured on Nas' It Was Written. Even though the lyrics are as serious as the topics themselves, Nas' lyrics makes one think of how rough it is to live with the surroundings of the S-D-C-EL topics around them. (It Was Written does feature the lyrics for each song, and that makes any album more enjoyable -- especially with the fast rap lyrics; it's an extra added plus to read along the lyrics as you listen to the songs...)

    The lyrics in rap music indicates that there is another world out there, the kind we don't normally want to see and/or live in. And It Was Written features that world, where nothing is perfect, yet Nas' lyrics tries to cope with the realities of a "not-so-perfect" world out there.

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    Previous Review: #699
    John Anderson--Greatest Hits [wb]
    Next Review: #701
    Soundtrack--Good Morning Vietnam