I Am… was originally released on April 6, 1999. Nas honored his album’s 22nd anniversary by posting an appreciative message on his Instagram page.
Esco’s IG post also included some interesting information about the late Nipsey Hussle. Fans of the Los Angeles legend were recently commemorating two years since he was killed on March 31, 2019.
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“This album started out as a double album until half of it leaked,” wrote Nas. “Our brother Nipsey met with me to discuss doing a documentary on it and I was beyond honored. Didn’t get to happen. [folded hands emoji].”
The Queens-bred emcee continued, “I Am, my 3rd LP, was released April 6, 1999. Thank you all for the love.” Ghostface Killah, Hit-Boy, Big Sean, Busta Rhymes, LeBron James, Yara Shahidi, and other celebrities commented on Nas’s Instagram post.
I Am debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 470,000 first-week units. The project included guest features by Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Scarface, Aaliyah, and DMX. The Columbia Records release hosted the single “Hate Me Now” which caused some controversy at the time because of its religious-themed music video.