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It Was Written has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
March 13, 2009Good article nomineeListed


Amount sold: These two statements appear to contradict each other: "On September 9, 1996, It Was Written was certified double platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), following sales in excess of two million copies in the United States.[28] On January 8, 1997, "Street Dreams" was certified gold in sales by the RIAA, following sales in excess of 500,000 copies.[29]". How could it be certified Gold months after it went Platinum? One of these is wrong but both of these are in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Don't you hate how people follow other people's opinions?Edit

Once the word gets out on an album it's like everyone just follows along with the review. It Was Written got a bad wrap because it was not like Illmatic, but this does not mean the album sucks in any way. Most of the reviews I've read on this album shitcanned it and gave it very undeserving comments. If you listen closely to this album with songs like The Message, I Gave You Power, Watch Dem Niggas, Take it in Blood, Nas is Coming (excluding the annoying chorus), Affirmative Action, The Set Up, Suspect, Shootouts, Live Nigga Rap and If I Ruled The World, how the Hell can someone honestly think they're wack with their great productions and excellent lyrics/flows? This has to be the absolute most underrated album of all time along with Onyx's "All We Got Iz Us". I'll go so far as to not only say that it's a great album, but I'll even say it's Nas' best. Disagree all you'd like. -Tainted Drifter

Everyone's welcome to their own opinions & preferences. Most peeps prefer Illmatic because of how fresh it was, as well as its varied production and content as opposed to the dark Mafioso-style that Nas adopted for It Was Written. Personally, I prefer Illmatic, God's Son, Stillmatic, and The Lost Tapes to It Was Written. I even prefer the Living Legends mixtape, although it used plenty of verses from Nas' second album. I don't dislike the album at all, and it's still one of my favourite of all time. I just feel that Nas has done a lot better.

- Mittens

Yeah, "everyone's entitled to their own opinion" is a saying created to defend those with horrible opinions. Lucky for you, it was created.--Tainted Drifter (talk) 03:25, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

and on the subject of opinion, the last sentence of the second prargraph... . "It Was Written also received mixed criticism for not being on-par with Illmatic, serving as an example of the sophomore slump." is judgemental and inacurate in that bad reviews (or mixed critisism) doesnt serve of an example of anything and the rhetoric gives the impression that the opinion "sophomore slump" is justified something that being "The album proved to be Nas’s most commercially successful release" it wasn't a slump. Perhaps the author intended some contextual consideration as the second quote comes from opening sentance of the same paragraph? it came across as misrepresentation when read by myself. and on the subject of opinion it is a crucial piece of work in NaS's cannon for a number of reasons and the only reason it was commercially sucessful is the quality therein. - anthony — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:56, 9 June 2013 (UTC)


Who the hell is this "Delight" in the performers section of the tracklisting grid? I've never heard of him/her, and I'm sure it was Foxxy Brown who Nas collaborated with for Watch Dem Niggas. And where was this artist on If I Rules The World & Street Dreams? Now I've probably got the wrong idea, and it's someone who played an instrument for the track (as Olu Dara is sometimes credited as a performer on Life's A Bitch), but I wanna know coz it's doin my head in tryna think who it could be.

- Mittens

Fair use rationale for Image:Nas-it-was-written-music-album.jpgEdit

Image:Nas-it-was-written-music-album.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 04:20, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Rolling Stone ReviewEdit

The stars graphic shown next to Rolling Stone reviews were wrong for both this album and Nastradamus. Whoever had written/edited this had obviouisly looked at the "average user rating" rather than the actual RS score. In this case, RS gave the album 2 stars, rather than 4½ as Was Written. Thesean43 09:27, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Never Overshadowed By Reasonable DoubtEdit

Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt took 6 years to go platinum but received 5 mics from The Source. Nas It Was Written was and still is Nas's best selling album to date. Although Reasonable Doubt wasn't a commercial success, the album still did very well. The italian mafioso gangsta lifestyle that was portayed by both Nas and Jay-Z was well respected and more a real life street image portrayed by artwork in its purest form. When Nas's Illmatic dropped in April 1994, no one understood Nas's flow and lyrics. His artwork took his listeners awhile for them to understand him as an artist. Illmatic definitely wasn't a commercial success, but was instantly considered a classic album.

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:It Was Written/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I'll be reviewing this article shortly. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:21, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose):   b (MoS):  
    A couple of rough prose spots
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references):   b (citations to reliable sources):   c (OR):  
    A couple of concerns on some of the website sources
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects):   b (focused):  
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:  
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:  
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales):   b (appropriate use with suitable captions):  
  7. Overall:

Specific concerns

  • (current ref 28) deadlinks
  • What makes a reliable source?
  • (current ref 33)
  • What makes a reliable source?
  • What makes a reliable source?
  • Lead:
    • "It also featured special distribution in the United Kingdom through Simple Vinyl Records." I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here. Do you mean it was distributed in the UK under some sort of special distribution arrangement?
    • ".... and West Coast-based producer...." Is the location of the producer important somehow? Suggest cutting it if not, explaining it if so.
    • ".... underground tone of his landmark debut album..." landmark is peacocky, need to cut it.
  • Conception:
    • "Following the acclaim of his landmark debut album..." landmark again is peacocky, need to cut it.
    • "... Nas's shy personality and withdrawal from promoting the record." Suggest rewording to "...Nas's shy personality and uninvolvement in promoting the record." or something similar.
I've put the article on hold for seven days to allow folks to address the issues I've brought up. Feel free to contact me on my talk page, or here with any concerns, and let me know one of those places when the issues have been addressed. If I may suggest that you strike out, check mark, or otherwise mark the items I've detailed, that will make it possible for me to see what's been addressed, and you can keep track of what's been done and what still needs to be worked on. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:41, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I fixed the references; for the Breaks ref. i used the liner notes instead. Dan56 (talk) 20:27, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

To determine the reliablity of the site, we need to know what sort of fact checking they do. You can establish this by showing news articles that say the site is reliable/noteworthy/etc. or you can show a page on the site that gives their rules for submissions/etc. or you can show they are backed by a media company/university/institute, or you can show that the website gives its sources and methods, or there are some other ways that would work too. It's their reputation for reliabilty that needs to be demonstrated. Please see Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-06-26/Dispatches for further detailed information. As for the prose, did you have any replies about the other concerns? Ealdgyth - Talk 20:31, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I got an opinion from the Reliable Source Noticeboard, see discussion. I also added to the influence section a bit.

Dan56 (talk) 00:59, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Chicago Sun-Times reviewEdit

Transcription using Google News Advanced News Archive Search. Chicago Sun-Times (Williams, Jean A. 11. July 21, 1996) review of It Was Written (1996):

Recently released recordings are rated on a scale between (STAR) (poor) and (STAR)(STAR)(STAR)(STAR) (essential).

NAS, "It Was Written" (Columbia) (STAR)(STAR)(STAR) 1/2

Upon initial listen, it's not easy to know what to make of "It Was Written." The wonderful melange of sounds seizes you and holds you captive as you offer your body to each chunky beat.

Your ear automatically surveys the wild yet carefully crafted syncopation and unconsciously notes the detailed arrangements containing musical contributions from the likes of Stephanie Mills, rap pioneer Kurtis Blow and even Chuck Mangione, Earl Klugh and the Eurythmics. What a motley bunch from which to draw samples.

Thankfully, though, NAS isn't one of the mad samplers who relies almost exclusively on borrowed sounds to carry his creations. Listening to "It Was Written" a second or third time, you'll realize with relief that the spurts of profanities caught whizzing through your brain were part of something much deeper than the words themselves. NAS, baby-faced though he may be, has blessed each morsel of music with perceptive, poetic and complex lyrics about street life. These aren't your run-of-the-mill rhyme schemes. Some top-notch talent turns up in guest spots, including Lauryn Hill of the Fugees on "If I Ruled the World" and AZ, Foxxy Brown and Cormega on "Affirmative Action." The various producers represent the cream of the rap world - including Dr. Dre and Havoc of Mobb Deep.

Dan56 (talk) 04:18, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Chicago Tribune reviewEdit

Transcription using Google News Advanced News Archive Search. Chicago Tribune (Kot, Greg. 6. July 25, 1996) review of It Was Written (1996):

Nas. It Was Written (Columbia) (star) (star) (star) 1/2.

On "I Gave You Power," the key track from New Yorker Nas Jones' second album, the rapper delivers a devastating indictment of glock worship, the obsession with guns that is destroying young black males by the thousands. He imagines himself as a gun, "Making every ghetto foul/I might have took your first child/Scarred your life, crippled your style/I gave you power/I made you buck wild." Nas more than fulfills the promise of his hotly anticipated 1994 debut, "Illmatic," with its densely detailed ghetto vignettes. Behind a bevy of smoldering mid-tempo grooves, the rapper spills street-hardened rhymes without succumbing to thuggish posing. The disc, which also includes a somewhat disappointing summit between Nas and West Coast counterpart Dr. Dre, is neither melodically inviting enough to mount a Coolio-style takeover of the pop charts nor outrageous enough to suit gangsta fetishists. Instead, its power rests in the listen-up authority and devastating clarity Nas brings to his wordplay, a display of skills that evokes the '80s glory days of East Coast hip-hoppers Eric B and Rakim.

Dan56 (talk) 04:25, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Affirmative Action SampleEdit

the sample that is stated is the sample from the remix version which is released on a single. that is not the sample from the album version of that song. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:34, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Assessment commentEdit

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:It Was Written/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 03:36, 13 March 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 19:11, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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