Nas’s sophomore album It Was Written turned 15 years old back in July. And in a recent interview with XXL, he reflects on his sophomore album.

What was your inspiration for “I Gave You Power?”
A Premier beat. Just a beat from Premier… in the studio. Back then I was around a lot more guns and my reality was that. There was no armed security back then, it was just us moving around so that was a lot more in my world.


I remember you had “Silent Murder” on the cassette. What made you put a bonus track on cassette at a time where things were moving to CDs?
Well, the cassette still wasn’t dead. They was still sellin’, so we figured, the cassette is what we grew up on. CDs is takin’ over so we need an extra attraction to get people to not buy the CDs, and also try to keep the cassette alive. We needed something to help keep the cassette alive so that’s what we did with Stretch and that was his last works, that was his last works with me. I miss him. I do. I think about him from time to time. Great dude. He was a real good dude.

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