It Was Written (1996) & The Firm: The Album (1997) +remixes, and tracks related

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Mag 11 2011, 18:36

This article was initially written for a Nas group the author created. To revert back to the group, click here

During Nas' sophomore album, he started mafioso rap. Because of the success Raekwon had with Wu-Gambinos, Nas started his own Escobar alter ego similar to how 2Pac started callin himself Makaveli. Nas' track "I gave you power" influenced 2Pac to record "Me and My Girlfriend" both rapping from the perspective of a gun. 2Pac took offense to Nas because of Nas' "Fake Thug/No Love/you get the slugs" line from "The Message" and the lyrics sounded too much like what happened to 2Pac in 1995 with him getting shot and checking out the hospital.

There are conflicting stories regarding whether or not Nas and 2Pac squashed their beef at NY central park 2 days before 'Pac got shot (the 2nd time) but 2Pac Got Goals Accomplished before he died
Outlaws confirmed the story at the 4-minute mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eepmiMk_f2o

More Evidence:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQklvVhRAYE
@1:14 and @4:03: there WAS a recording of Pac "when I seen this nigga Nas, I swear to god, 'I was like yo, wassup Nas, yo this east coast-west coast thang, yo it's not about you - don't get caught up in it I swear to god yo, we got nothing but love for you'" and the recording is off the 2Pac Duets mixtape...after Biggie Duets dropped. another recording on it was of Nas "I can remember Howard-Homecoming, runnin into 2Pac - handing him a bottle of hennessey and him turning it upside down and that magic has never left my mind - so for me to make a song called 'i gave you power' about me being a gun and then 2Pac put out 'me and my girlfriend' - that was amazing to me. I saw my influence on them because they influenced me - Greatly!"

Nas Talks About Tupac and sqaushing the beef:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dptX5_eMsE

Nas stopped his concert when 2Pac died (Sept 13, 96):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIwnNe3RPQA

...and I didn't know Nas was supposed to be on Tha Dogg Pound's "Dogg Food" album before Suge intervened and started the east-west 'beef'

Similar with Wu-Tang, Nas created his own super group with The Firm (w/ Foxy Brown, AZ, Cormega, and Nature), Group Therapy (w/ B-Real, KRS-One, RBX), Queen's Finest (almost every rapper from Queens at the time), and Bravehearts (w/ Jungle, Nashawn, Wiz, Horse).

In my opinion, Nas should have been better off alone because true talent needs no gimmicks and he often had to ghostwrite for people like Foxy Brown not to mention Will Smith, Dr. Dre, Diddy, etc...

It Was Written (1996)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Was_Written


1 "Album Intro" AZ
Nas & Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3ElcgZ-e3U

2 "The Message"
Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3c9Q7lodZU

3 "Street Dreams"
Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4NtdEuJ75k

4 "I Gave You Power"
DJ Premier
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TllbGtempQ4

5 "Watch Dem Niggas" Foxy Brown
Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqqrr-ZiNO4

6 "Take It in Blood"
Live Squad, Lo Ground & Top General Sounds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLJeKCA8Iq4

7 "Nas Is Coming" Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNB59TG8Ic0

8 "Affirmative Action" AZ, Cormega, Foxy Brown, (The Firm)
Dave Atkinson, Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcyIT6QijAA

9 "The Set Up" Havoc
Havoc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYFy2t-q6pE

10 "Black Girl Lost" Joel "Jo-Jo" Hailey
L.E.S., Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiWNjlhHjeg

11 "Suspect"
L.E.S.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCz75K1OO4c

12 "Shootouts"
Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5SI3DG4coA

13 "Live Nigga Rap" Mobb Deep
Havoc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG5yR2VVyJo

14 "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)" Lauryn Hill
Trackmasters & Rashad Smith
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Riu3IVnYJVE

15 "Silent Murder"
Live Squad, Lo Ground & Top General Sounds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdgiamJ4010

16 "Affirmative Action St-Denis-Style Remix" AZ, Foxy Brown & NTM (Joey Starr & Kool Shen)
Dave Atkinson, Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLxGveeASIY

Firm: The Album (1997)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Album_%28The_Firm_album%29


2 "Firm Fiasco" (AZ, Foxy Brown, Nas)
Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKKqKTM7RqQ

4 "Phone Tap" (AZ, Nas, Nature)
Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM9zpTTZirk

5 "Executive Decision" (AZ, Nas, Nature)
Curt Gowdy, Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ku_c_DNaw4

10 "Hardcore" (Foxy Brown, Nas)
Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5cmFmMZeo4

15 "Desparados" (Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, Nature) (featuring Canibus)
Curt Gowdy, Trackmasters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Cwf8_U2hA

16 "Firm Biz" Feat Foxy Brown, Az, Nature Dawn Robinson
L.E.S.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcEFkjJRJ-k

From Illmatic to Stillmatic: The Remixes (2002)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_Illmatic_to_Stillmatic:_The_Remixes_EP

4 "Street Dreams (Remix)" R. Kelly
Poke and Tone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Qi2ZT8ckVE

5 "Affirmative Action (Remix Edited Version)" AZ, Foxy Brown
Dave Atkinson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA_9pU--lsA

Related Tracks
On the Ave (?) (Prod. Large Professor)
...confirmed by Large Professor

Detroit's 98 FM Freestyle (1996-7)
...The transcribed verse is here, but no audio

"Look at these clowns that be coming at me
Pac showed 'em how it was done in Makaveli
Exactly . . .
who wanna attack me?
When y'all done with the dumb ish, we could break bread
I show you young black brothers how to get ahead
You think I'm not Mr. Entrepreneur
But every time I step out a car, it's from a Bentley door
And that's been happening since '94
And y'all don't see me talking crack and raw
I hang with gangstas, the kind you never seen before
Or on Lear jets with Webber, no discussions of rap
We talk about American lives that were lost in Iraq
Talk about American lives that were lost in the hood
Al Green ballads and how shit'd never be like it was
Pop bottles for my brothers in prison
Pop bottles for my girls who . . ."

..."According to a legendary story, Nas was once such a potent freestyler that after spitting for some time in the company of Biggie, Biggie just had to shrug and say, "there's no way I can follow that." Blunted by time though, nowadays you'd hardly suspect that was ever true of Nas. As an example, during a recent visit to Detroit's 98 FM, the rapper quickly stumbled on a pre-written verse. Now, a dope freestyler hardly ever equals a dope overall rapper, but it would still be nice to see signs of what once had B.I.G. so shook."

? Untitled ft. Method Man and D'Angelo (1996)
...Escobar Season Begins and distributed it to media outlets and mixtapes. Apparently, Method Man never showed up and Nature ended on the making of "Shootouts"...the alternate verse of shootouts was later released

It Was A Lady Cop Sucking A Thug’s Dick, It Was Some Thug Shit, Some Bug Shit (1996)
...samples Brethren's Inside Love - confirmed by L.E.S.

Verbal Intercourse Pt 2 (1995)
...Nas dropped 4 verses before choosing "through the lights camera glamor glitters and gold" verse as the final...RZA might have recorded the other Nas' verses on a separate beat - confirmed by Chef a.k.a. Raekwon

In case you didn't already know: For Will Smith, Nas co-wrote "Get Jiggy Wit It," "Yes Yes Y'All," "Chasing Forever," "Just Cruisin'" off the "Men In Black" soundtrack. "women used to tease me / give it to me now nice and easy / since I moved up like George and Weezy." "Miami" follows the same template of "Jiggy," with a couple double rhymes and a bizarre shoutout to Sly Stallone being especially Nas-like, so maybe it counts as as ghostwriting as well. Full article: http://escobartheory.blogspot.com/2006/06/for-right-price.html

Blood Money Pt. 4 (DJ Premier Remix) Capone Noreaga
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmkufTL90j0

queens finest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF8Agy9LL7M
verse from fast life, beat from I'ma hustla remix

the set up (remix) havoc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKuTYfl5X5M
verse from the set up, not sure where beat came from

if this world was mines ft ghostface killah Tammy Terrell lauryn hill Adeen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRpA_He2AMo
verse from if I ruled the world, beat from dear summer, ghostface's verse from holla

Love Is All We Need (Alternate Nas Verse) Mary J. Blige
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5Q3UBvoFNk

The Firm - La Familia (version w/Cormega vs version w/Nature)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FhXAl14LuA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2qZbpxN6pw
The original had cormega instead of Nature even tho Foxy still shout outs to Cormega in her final verse...Nas wrote all of Foxy's verses during this time so listen to Foxy and pretend it's Nas. In case you forgot, Cormega had a beef with Nas because the contract 'Mega was going to sign to do the "Firm Album" gypped him so he left and then in came Nature - the incohesiveness of the group caused the "fiasco to flop"

east coast killer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd9Q2vD1qXM
verse from east coast west coast killas, beat from deep cover, south bronx, nuthin but a g thang, keep their heads ringing, ain't no fun

Nas & Bigge Freestyle (rare)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlzTHtS_sMw
I can't make out all the lyrics, but it's definitely a verse I haven't heard before

"obey your thirst/wild style - double trouble" AZ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrE2uHXBeq8
http://www.last.fm/user/jensyao/journal/2011/04/10/4bksyl_%2842_and_counting%29_hip_hoprap_artists_that_appeared_on_sprite_commercials_%5B1986_to_present%5D

shootouts 2005 ft Maino
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sch4b7pOyGQ
Nas verse is EXCLUSIVE, beat is from oh no...Maino did a joint w/Rakim, he needs to get respected

I made it like that I & II
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-23E12rGj0
verse from take it in blood, beat from we gonna make it and ambitionz az a ridah

Firm All Stars Feat The Firm & Pretty Boy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGx-p6TSsKs

Fast Life (Unreleased Buckwild and Kool G Rap
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWScKiOd7Rw

Nas & De La Soul 1996 Freestyle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytaJk8erCbE

Sinful Living Remix ft J grand?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkVkfECzWFE
same Nas verse, some dude just jumped on the (street dreams remix) beat later

Watch Dem Niggas (alternate 3rd verse)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2niwOc5ae4

Street Dreams (alternate 3rd verse)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc1okng0C7o

black girl lost 2005 f papoose tre williams
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K7jeZnXNVI
beat from slow down, papoose and nas verse exclusive

Black girl lost 2005 f Papoose
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrhmbsgZYQY

Freestyle '96/Jackin Beats/escobar season '96
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1omCMqPDGJE

Firm Biz (Remix) Welcome to the Firm/World Famous/Disciple ft AZ, Foxy Brown, Half A Mil, Mary J. Blige, Nature, DJ Clue
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auPGfnM3Im4

Desperados (Unreleased Original Version) Feat. Nature & Foxy Brown The Firm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owZ42jKJfsQ

Shootouts Freestyle Feat. Nature
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkrZV77NMHw

Take It In Blood Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkgpHSyKq4w

The Fast Life (Feat. Kool G. Rap & Clipse)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f-xwiTSI2g
Original verse from Kool G Rap's Fast Life
(original beat from Mannie fresh on Rich Boy's D-Boy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux_chj8Eb9I..then Wayne took it..then Young Chris from Gunnaz rhymed on it)

Street Dreams Madlib Remix
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LiA7li8cTc

"John Blaze (Original Nas verse) ft., Jadakiss, Raekwon & Fat Joe" Big Pun Big Punisher
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbap7AEJFHA

Goodfellas "Cormega"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgUlUjjZOFY

"Three Messages" 2Pac & Obie Trice
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCS0UWNu8Ys
prizefighter remixes are the shit...2Pac's verse from "who do you believe in?" Nas verse from "If I ruled the world" Obie Trice verse from "Shit hits the fan"

This article was initially written for a Nas group the author created. To revert back to the group, click here

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