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4.4 out of 5 stars
26
4.4 out of 5 stars
It Was Written
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on 7 October 2017
I actually love this album. The CD arrived undamaged in an undamaged case, and I believe this to be Nas' second best album (after God's Son, even if everyone else disagrees), and probably in my twentieth favorite album ever list.
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on 16 August 2015
An amazing album (If you don't compare it to Illmatic)
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on 11 March 2004
This is a very good album, but as the follow up to Illmatic it would allways receive critisism.
The album starts off with an intro which is actually worth listening to! unlike many rap albums' intros. Next is the song the Message. In my opinion this is one of the best Nas songs ever, and a personal favorite of mine. Infact I'd recommend buying this album just for that song. That's not to say the rest of the album is no good, on the contary This is certainly one of Nas' best albums. Other highlights include the singles: If I ruled the world (with Lauren Hill) and Nas is Coming, but also affirmative action.
This is not an album for non rap people, there are no Pop type songs but any fans of Nas should buy this and any Rap fans.
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on 18 May 2014
this album is a classic and was released when lyrics and word play were at there prime in rap. if you are thinking of getting a nas album i would defiantly recommend this one. illmatic and stillmatic are great one to consider as well. if you like old school rap or lyrics then you will like this. fans of eminem hopsin snoop dogg xzibit dr dre ice cube ice t and many others like them should love this album
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on 13 June 2005
this was one of Nas best albums, every song shows depth his story telling skills a strong here, the beats are good, people keep talking about illmatic, any rappers and lower their vocal range and increase syabllic pattern its just nas was the first, and anyway he needs to grow from Stillmatic what makes him any better than Jay Z, the Stillmatic album was all hype I advise people to buy this album not for putting
dirt on peoples names but the narration and skill displayed
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on 31 August 2002
Every hip-hop fan, has to own this. Nas takes hip-hop to the next level , he explodes the start of the album with "the message", hardhitting anthem bout life in quensbridge. Just by listening to it you can tell why he is one of the best MCs around and not to be messed with.In every track Nas gives his all,you can tell hours and hours of work have gone into the production side of this album. "Nas is coming" is one of the sttrongest songs on the album,the fatest flavs lie with that song.NAS is queens finest mos def !!!
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on 1 July 2010
It was written is one of those great mid 90 hip hop albums. This album was made after Nas's debut album Illmatic which received universal acclaim and is considered the greatest rap album of all time.

Although i dont think It was written is as good as Illmatic, i feel that the album is also a classic, with only 1 or 2 bad songs on the album.

Nas tries to improve this album from the previous by including more songs (16), which he was critised for previously.

I would 100% recommend you purchasing this album, as it contains classic songs like....The message, affirmative action and of course the now classic song "if i rule the world".

10/10
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on 24 August 2006
foreword--- if you die before you experience this you have not witnessed mankinds greatest lyricist SIMPLE, no this is not an album full of technical vocabularly that will annoy you, its the slickest most illest composition of lyricism over beat PERIOD. ILLMATIC is another story altogther (another classic) but im here to talk about IWW.

1- intro

the intro is nice, nas acts out a slave scene, hes a slave and he is fed up and he tells his slave friend and they uprise and someone gets there ass whipped, (a bit disjointed from the album, but however a different profound intro) this then fades mysteriously into him and az (his friend and fellow rapper, his collection is worth a look) they chat about basically nothing it sounds fresh, then nas finishes with a very nice statement, hes tone changes more serious''in the qaran it says nas, and nisa's the woman, it was written'' he is ready to do what he has got to do.

2. message

1st verse,

very long verse mostly bragging, but he does it with aplomb, highlight, 'theres 1 life, 1 love so there can only be 1 king'

2nd verse

the first of many many stories, (shooting incident)

highlight

'' a thug changes and love changes and best friends become strangers'' that statement is as equal to anything shakespeare ever created.

3. street dreams

a nice single, to be honest its only drawbacks are

1. 2pac has his own version

2. nas did not need to create the chorus as its a straight take from eurthmics.

1st verse- nice shines in 1st verse its due to the standard nas has set himself, his diction is magnificent.

2nd verse-

wow, wow he is warming up now,

''2 sips from being alcoholic, nine hundred and ninety nine thou from being rich, but now im all for it''

3rd verse-

slick verse, what more can i say

4. i gave you power

this song is more illmatic style, he tells the story of a gun and its experiences, but not just that he puts so much life into the gun you would think it was licing. the idea is not original because pharoah monch did it first.

1st and 2nd verse set the pace ill verses.

3rd verse has a sick twist, i wont give it away.

5. this is a mellow tune, something to smoke 2, we are approaching one of a few apex's in lyricism on the album, basically the lyrics dont get much better then this, WOW WOW WOW.

1ST VERSE

from the second he starts its incredible, higlights include,

''its mandatory see that p9ssy they hand it to me, i got no game its just some bi9tches understand my story''

shakespeare would be proud

2nd verse

my movado say seven the god hour thats if you follow tradition started not far from the apollo' anyone who knows about malcolm x would understand.

3rd verse

mini story, jealous friends is the subject. so slick, just listen and the picture is painted in your head

6. take it in blood

this song is a little experimental in that it is either nas is writing the song as he is some mafia gangster or my assumption is he is high as a kite on something and he is spitting some of the illest wordplay that only a mind high of drugs could create. intoxicating.

the whole track is a complete quotable, it is poetry at its highest form, it is hard to comprehend because the diction is irregular, amazing,

7. nas is comin

lyrically as good as the previous 6 tracks, lots of qoutables, but the production of dr dre lets it down, the production is good, nas murders it lyrically, chorus is the worst of the album.

8. af action

everyone should know this song, mafia style song with the firm, az, cormega, foxy, Beleive it or not nas actually wrote foxy browns verse. ill song.

9. set up

this song starts a section of the album were nas spits a lot of stories. ill track, produced by havoc of mobb deep,

he tells te story of these 2 girls he gets 2 set up these other guys. ill story

10. black girl lost

a nice welcome break in the album, changes the tone of album slightly to break up the stories surrounding it, light hearted emotional he talks about black girls that are emotionally lost, it really shows hes growing maturity, he lays the song nice,but you can tell he is within himself and he sounds like he is only giving 80% of his ability on this track. still very ill

11. suspect

under rated you might skip it the first time you play it, but its a gem, lovely wordplay, the 1st verse is amazing, its very much like a director explaining a movie to his lead actor very descriptive. 2nd verse sounds very much like take it in blood style, its braggy, and i would probably guess that this verse was not written for this track he just had it and thought it sounded nice, it sure does.

3rd verse

this is a mini verse starts off beat. to be honest i dont know exactly how to make sense of it, its more of a show off of his lyricism as he goes into overdrive on the lyrics part and forgets that the listeners brain might not be able to understand hes advance thoughts.

12. shootouts

this is a superbly detailed 2 part story song, it sounds like a mini short story to be honest, this story shows off his story telling ability best, 1 story about a chic and a fed, another story about a gun shootout. amazing on the lyrics.

13. live nigga rap

this song is more thugged out then anything, and i guess is for the grimey cats features the mobb, nas still comes intelligent, but compare this to the other songs in the album and it doesnt stand out to me.

14. if i ruled the world

ill, a superb musical composition, i dont think you can compose a song that sounds more natural than this, its his big single off the album, the lyrics are actually amazing, he doesnt dumb down 1 bit, the 1st verse is far superior to the 2nd verse so a lslight inbalance to the song makes u feel empty, im just being picky though,

15. silent murder

you only get this track if you buy the europe or uk version, usa versions dont contain this song

as good a song as any in the album, comparisons to take it in blood are obvious, its a little bit more synical and darker. lyrics are amazing

summary,

i have to give percentages to distinguish between the levels of illness achieved, every song is ill but some are just iller then others.

beat content wordplay

1 intro -

2 message 93% 92% 97%

3. street dreams 90% 93% 97%

4. i gave you power 94% 97% 94%

5.watch them nigs 95% 96% 97%

6. take it in blood 97% 91% 98%

7. nas is coming 84% 86% 97%

8. af action 94% 92% 93%

9.set up 95% 97% 98%

10 black girl lost 91% 95% 86%

11 suspect 85% 90% 97%

12 shoot outs 94% 98% 94%

13 live nigga rap 90% 88% 93%

14 if i ruled the world 96% 97% 96%

15 silent murder 96% 90% 96%

for lyricism it doesnt get better then this, the only time he sounds human and matchable is when he raps on black girl lost, overall content is good a bit braggy at times, lyricism is as sharp as as a machete, beats are good some people say the production isnt that good but i like it.

this is nas at his lyrical peak, so he is able to tell stories with amazing vividness, it was written is a very adequate title
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on 22 September 2013
Love this album. It does represent Nas's fall towards piopulism, not a good thing for him, but at this stage he's dropping tracks like

The Message, If I Ruled the World (Imagine that), Take it in Blood, I Gave You Power, Shootouts, Live N'gga Rap, and the Firm's best track - Affirmative Action.

There are 2/3 tracks worth lopping off of this album but I love it anyway. Easily in Nas's top 3 imo.
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on 16 January 2012
This album is so sick, it has some of the best bars/concepts ever dropped in hip hop. The message is one of the best songs ever made to, 5 stars!
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