Nas ‎– It Was Written

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Tracklist

Album Intro 2:28
The Message 4:10
Street Dreams 4:41
I Gave You Power 3:56
Watch Dem Niggas 4:06
Take It In Blood 4:49
The Set Up 4:26
Black Girl Lost 4:32
Suspect 4:16
Shootouts 3:46
Nas Is Coming 5:40
Affirmative Action 4:20
Live Nigga Rap 3:46
If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) 4:44

Versions (40)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
C 67015 Nas It Was Written(LP, Album) Columbia C 67015 US 1996 Sell This Version
CK 67745 Nas It Was Written (Clean Version)(CD, Album) Columbia CK 67745 US 1996 Sell This Version
none Nas It Was Written (Clean Version)(CDr, Album) Whitfield Street none UK 1996 Sell This Version
CT 67745 Nas It Was Written (Clean Version)(Cass, Album) Columbia CT 67745 US 1996 Sell This Version
C 67015 Nas It Was Written(2xLP, Album, RE) Columbia C 67015 US 1996 Sell This Version
484196 2, col 484196 2, 4841962011 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album) Columbia, Columbia, Columbia 484196 2, col 484196 2, 4841962011 Europe 1996 Sell This Version
SRCS 8063 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album) Sony Records SRCS 8063 Japan 1996 Sell This Version
484196 6, col 484196 6 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album) Columbia, Columbia 484196 6, col 484196 6 France 1996 Sell This Version
484196 2 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album) Columbia 484196 2 Australia 1996 Sell This Version
CDCOL 5116 K Nas It Was Written(CD, Album) Columbia CDCOL 5116 K South Africa 1996 Sell This Version
484196 2, col 484196 2 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album) Columbia, Columbia 484196 2, col 484196 2 Europe 1996 Sell This Version
CK 67015 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album) Columbia CK 67015 US 1996 Sell This Version
CK 67015 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album) Columbia CK 67015 Canada 1996 Sell This Version
CK 67015 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, Club) Columbia CK 67015 US 1996 Sell This Version
CK 67015 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, Club) Columbia CK 67015 Canada 1996 Sell This Version
SRCS 8063 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, Promo) Sony Records SRCS 8063 Japan 1996 Sell This Version
COL 484196 4 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album) Columbia COL 484196 4 Bulgaria 1996 Sell This Version
CT 67445, C - 9760996 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album) Columbia, Columbia CT 67445, C - 9760996 Indonesia 1996 Sell This Version
COL 484196 4 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album) Columbia COL 484196 4 Poland 1996 Sell This Version
4841963 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album) Columbia 4841963 Netherlands 1996 Sell This Version
CT 67015 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album) Columbia CT 67015 Canada 1996 Sell This Version
COL 484196 4 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album) Columbia COL 484196 4 Europe 1996 Sell This Version
Ct 67015 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album) Columbia Ct 67015 US 1996 Sell This Version
484196 4 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album) Columbia 484196 4 Turkey 1996 Sell This Version
none Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album, Unofficial) Not On Label (Nas) none Russia 1996 Sell This Version
1871 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album, Unofficial) Music World (2) 1871 Russia 1996 Sell This Version
484196 1 Nas It Was Written(LP, Album) Columbia 484196 1 Europe 1996 Sell This Version
484196 2, col 484196 2 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, RE) Columbia, Columbia 484196 2, col 484196 2 Europe 1999 Sell This Version
SICP 1613 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, RE) Sony Records Int'l SICP 1613 Japan 2007 Sell This Version
GET51310-LP Nas It Was Written(2xLP, Ltd, Num, RP, Cle) Get On Down GET51310-LP US 2019 Sell This Version
GET51310-LP, none Nas It Was Written(2xLP, RE, Gat) Get On Down, Columbia, Sony Music GET51310-LP, none US 2019 Sell This Version
SVLP 382 Nas It Was Written(2xLP, Album, RE) Simply Vinyl SVLP 382 UK Unknown Sell This Version
CK 67015 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, RE) Columbia CK 67015 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
CK 67015 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, RE) Columbia CK 67015 US Unknown Sell This Version
CK 67015 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, RE) Columbia CK 67015 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
CK 67015 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, RE) Columbia CK 67015 US Unknown Sell This Version
88697068662 Nas It Was Written(CD, Album, Spe) Sony BMG Music Entertainment 88697068662 Russia Unknown Sell This Version
1377 Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album, Unofficial) Queen (7) 1377 Syria Unknown Sell This Version
none Nas It Was Written(Cass, Album, Unofficial, Chr) Not On Label none US Unknown Sell This Version
C 67015 Nas It Was Written(LP, Album, RE, Unofficial) Columbia C 67015 US Unknown Sell This Version

Recommendations

Reviews Show All 42 Reviews

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Alfredas

Alfredas

March 9, 2020
referencing It Was Written, 2xLP, Ltd, Num, RP, Cle, GET51310-LP

At least my copy (106/1000) sounds excellent and there are no issues mentioned by others.
djsgribbs

djsgribbs

February 27, 2020
referencing It Was Written, 2xLP, Ltd, Num, RP, Cle, GET51310-LP

Most people probably do not realize that the tracks are not in the correct order on Disc 2.

7. The Set Up
8. Black Girl Lost
9. Suspect
10. Shootouts
11. Nas Is Coming
12. Affirmative Action

Then the album closes in the right order 13. LNR, 14. IIRTW, 15. SM

The correct track order is listed on the release master page. Also the correct order with Silent Murder was released on CD in Europe (https://www.discogs.com/Nas-It-Was-Written/release/349148), but all US CD releases and streaming services use the correct track order. This incorrect order is apparent if you simply listen to the album as is presented here. Especially during the transition from one track to another on disc 2 it's fairly obvious. The gunshots that are supposed to end Shootouts are at the opening of the disc 2, the tracks that bleed into each other kind break in weird spots. For anyone familiar with the album, this will annoy you and will diminish your listening experience. This is a record that I absolutely love and but along with the quality issues impacting the pressing it make this basically trash.

Here is the odd thing... this is not just an issue with this specific pressing and there is actually no reason in regards to spacing for this track order. If you do the math and look at the track length in order, there is certainly enough space on each side to fit the album in its proper order. All these tracks are basically average length (3:30-4:40) the only notable exception on Disc 2 is Nas Is Coming at 5:40 (still not excessively long). Even so this album is 61 min long (w/ Bonus track). That's not really pushing any boundaries for a 2 x LP set. If you do a little research you realize that IWW has never been properly pressed on vinyl. I exchanged emails with the Get On Down team and they had no idea the tracks were out of order (i had to "prove" it to them, which i thought was crazy). they tracked it up stream and said it was the parent label decision to have the record pressed this way. I am assuming its how it was remastered (more on that below). I'll give GoD the benefit of the doubt here that "it's not their fault". poor attention to detail and yes... but it just kinda proves there's nothing special about this copy except an OBI and hand-numbering.

I have had a lot of people question me on this. I challenge anyone to listen to the song transition between Shootouts => LNR (ie correct track order) vs. Shooutouts =>Nas Is Coming. it's pretty obvious here that the intended order is Shootouts -> LNR. This is the most obvious example, but once you understand what you are looking for it becomes something you cannot avoid.

For whatever reason the original single LP and cassette used a different sequence. This is perhaps the genesis of the problem. I have a feeling that maybe it was side split math to fit this album on a single LP. Even so at 61 min long this is also the point at which SM was dropped from the track listing. Then that sequence was used for the original cassette run (which now made it possible and meaningful to add SM on with the extra space... even then for some reason they crammed it in on Side A). From there when they expanded the reissue to double disc the label used the same sequencing from the original single LP version (but still somehow left out Silent Murder even though obviously there was enough room for it). So over the years its just been one long string of mistakes. If Nas owned his own masters then perhaps this would have gotten fixed at some point, but its obvious that whomever has had control of them along the way does not care enough about the original intent.

Silent Murder to me is an incredible placement here. Honestly SM has never felt like a "bonus" and always felt like the proper album closer. Tracing things back you can see how it got dropped and shuffled around over the years. As much as I am excited to have this tracked added on vinyl for the first time... it is meaningless when there is so many other problems that still need to be rectified for a proper reissue (and I did not even mention the sound quality here, which leaves a lot to be desired).
bsalkowski9

bsalkowski9

February 11, 2020
referencing It Was Written, CD, Album, 484196 2, col 484196 2
Yes there is a commercial appeal and Sound to the album but it is absolutely incredible I think it is just equal to illmatic
andthejets

andthejets

January 6, 2020
referencing It Was Written, 2xLP, RE, Gat, GET51310-LP, none
Certainly not as bad as people are saying the clear pressing is, though not exactly the greatest record I own. Noticeable sibilance on "I Gave You Power", the vocals on some songs sound a bit compressed. Also each side seems to start a bit abruptly, almost no lead in like records typically have. I highly doubt a better/different pressing will come anytime soon so I'd say it's mostly fine for the time being, just wish a classic such as this would have gotten a bit better treatment.
charlelie

charlelie

December 28, 2019
referencing It Was Written, 2xLP, RE, Gat, GET51310-LP, none
Good sound from this pressing, no pops, deep bass, heavy flat vinyl.
Shelby38

Shelby38

December 14, 2019
referencing It Was Written, LP, Album, C 67015

My Original US LP is in good condition but there is lot of crakles over the entire duration. It's still the best to have in collection.
mrbonesSTL

mrbonesSTL

November 24, 2019
referencing It Was Written, 2xLP, RE, Gat, GET51310-LP, none
So, on my copy vinyl 1, both A & B sides are exactly the same...I'm guessing this is a mispress. Anyone else experiencing this???
booztravlr

booztravlr

November 11, 2019
referencing It Was Written, 2xLP, Ltd, Num, RP, Cle, GET51310-LP
I've listened to most of this album and have not come across any pressing defects, static, etc. like some have written about below. I hope they realize Suspect and Live Nigga Rap have needle/static noises as part of the sampling he used for the songs and they aren't referencing them for their complaints. Either way, all new presses should be thoroughly cleaned prior to listening. Sorry to hear people got bad presses but I'm very satisfied with my purchase.
decibelius

decibelius

November 7, 2019
referencing It Was Written, 2xLP, RE, Gat, GET51310-LP, none
This is a good pressing. Surface noise is low on my Ortofon 2M Bronze/Sutherland RIaa. This is the black pressing.
mrbonesSTL

mrbonesSTL

October 26, 2019
referencing It Was Written, 2xLP, Ltd, Num, RP, Cle, GET51310-LP

Glad to see it wasn't just me noticing the terrible pressing quality of this. I thought something was up with all the crackling & stuff.