The 25th anniversary of Nas’ It Was Written is now just around the corner, and he’s got a new drop to celebrate the occasion.
Today (June 24), he announced plans to release a reissue of It Was Written when the album turns 25 on July 2. The digital reissue is an expanded version of the album that includes the previously cassette-only song “Silent Murder” and a version of “Street Dreams” that includes a bonus verse. Get On Down, which is the label reissuing the LP, will also be releasing vinyl versions of the slightly expanded project. All in all, this seems like a pretty dope package.
While it wasn’t as acclaimed as his beloved debut album, Illmatic, It Was Written features much of the verbal pyrotechnics and fine-tuned flows Nas showcased when he first blew up. The difference is grander production and a shift in perspectives, with the rapper having fun with his Nas Escobar persona as he letts loose epic, mafioso songs and some singles designed to be picked up by the radio. The Lauryn Hill-featured single “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)” is a shining example of when the latter was at its best.
The fact that It Was Written is about to turn 25 years old is a reminder of how long and wildly successful Nas’ career has been up to this point. And really, he’s shown no signs of falling off. On “Sorry Not Sorry,” a song from DJ Khaled’s latest album, Khaled Khaled, Nas fires off a barrage of bars that give a vivid snapshot of the success he’s enjoyed recently.
“I’m coin-based, basically cryptocurrency Scarface/Join us, there’s gotta be more of us I’m from the ghetto, what location?/Two seconds from the Devil I live heavenly in Cabo, with a Mexican sombrero,” he raps on the Khaled Khaled track.