Date: July 1996

Illmatic didn't sell as well as it should have for Nas. So when it came time to record his second album, he switched up his approach. He hired marketing guru Steve Stoute to be his new manager. He recorded songs like "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)" and "Street Dreams" that featured catching hooks and million-dollar music videos. And he made it his mission to move some units. He succeeded by selling more than two million copies of It Was Written and debuting at the top of Billboard's albums chart.