One of the best examples of an album that has been reevaluated over time, Nas' sophomore LP "It Was Written" saw the Queensbridge emcee reach for the charts while maintaining integrity. Lyrically, it's as strong as "Illmatic" although the topics were much different and The Trackmasters, Havoc, L.E.S., Dr. Dre and DJ Premier constructed a rather dark, and often moody, soundbed for Escobar's words to flourish on. Because of its tangible differences from his much praised debut, the '96 follow-up led to the first accusations of Nas' as a sell-out. Today, "It Was Written" is more often considered a true hip-hop classic, and a good representation of the time and place hip-hop was at during the time the LP was conceived. Something I personally agree with.
Complex Magazine follows their recent Nas interview/article with a trip down memory lane, with Nas, Trackmasters, DJ Premier, Prodigy and Steve Stoute discussing the making of "It Was Written". A very interesting read, no doubt; much props to Complex for their incredible in-depth articles!