Today In Hip Hop History: Nas Dropped “If I Ruled The World(Imagine That)” Single Feat. Lauryn Hill 28 Years Ago

On this date in 1996, Nas released the monumental “If I Ruled The World” single featuring the illustrious Lauryn Hill, which appeared on his sophomore album It Was Written on the Columbia label. If I Ruled The World was a remake of Kurtis Blow’s 1985 hit with the same name, which spawned from the Krush Groove movie soundtrack.

Produced by Trackmasters, If I Ruled The World was sampled directly from Whodini’s “Friends” song, was actually the very first song that Lauryn Hill performed outside of The Fugees camp.

Commercially, If I Ruled The World was a mainstream success, reaching number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while it also peaked in the top 20 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. In total, the single reached the top ten in eight countries. It received a nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards. “If I Ruled the World” also became Nas’ first platinum single, receiving its certification in June 2021.


Salute to NAs, Ms. Hill, The Trackmasters, Hype Williams for the video and everyone else responsible for help making this a piece of Hip Hop history!