Flashback Friday: Nas and Kanye West

It’s pretty tough following up a classic debut album. It casts a huge shadow that’s nearly impossible for an artist to escape — everything that artist creates will be forever compared to that first great work.

But these guys persevered.

Let’s look at two sophomore albums that followed classic debuts. They’re phenomenal in their own right.

it was written


Nas, It Was Written (1996)

My, how times have changed. I’ve heard some young’ns claim this album is better than Illmatic, which is just lunacy. But back in 1996, a lot of people trashed this album, saying it wasn’t on Illmatic’s level. Well, NOTHING is on Illmatic’s level. That doesn’t mean this wasn’t a great album — and it most certainly WAS great. “If I Ruled The World” is one of Nas’ biggest successes in mainstream hip-hop. And, in my opinion, the epic tale “I Gave You Power” is one of best rap songs ever recorded.

Also check out:

“I Gave You Power”

“Black Girl Lost” featuring JoJo Hailey

late registration

Kanye West, Late Registration (2005)

The College Dropout was a once-in-a-lifetime album, but this follow-up proved that Ye was no one-hit wonder. Kanye built upon his signature “soul beats” and created a score that sounded like it was fit for film. The College Dropout is Kanye’s best, but Late Registration is not far behind.

Also check out:

“Crack Music” featuring The Game

“Heard Em Say” featuring Adam Levine

Now, it’s your turn. Email soulinstereoblog@gmail.com  hit me up on Twitter @etbowser, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album. Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. I’ll feature your album on the blog.


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