We all know music is universal. It can breath life into a stale day, lift your spirits, or feed your soul. No matter what genre you rock—from gospel to grunge, hip-hop to be bop—music has a way of rising to meet (or change) your mood.

Whenever I met new people, I always ask about their favorite albums. Not because I’m some sort of a music snob (although I might give them a side-eye if Waka Flocka Flame tops their list), but because the music we love says a lot about us.

Years ago when I was applying to MFA programs, many of the entry essays asked about my inspiration to write. Instead of citing some of the writers I stan for, like James Baldwin, I wrote about Nas’ Illmatic.

Without getting too deep into my love of Illmatic, it completely inspired me to find my own voice and write. After hearing Nas back in ’93 on the Wake Up Show back, a syndicated hip-hop radio show, I was completely blown away. Although I was a young girl in South-Central Los Angeles, I felt like he was speaking directly to me. Despite rapping about New York City, I felt at home in his words and was inspired to pick up a pen. I haven’t put it down since.

So yes…in any discussion of my favorite albums, Illmatic is always in the mix. But what about you, Clutchettes and Gents?

What is your favorite album or all time? Share!


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  • Heather Headley -In My Mind
    Joe- And then… & All the Things
    Keith Sweat- Best of Keith Sweat:Make You Sweat

  • D-Chubb

    Buju Banton – “Til Shiloh”
    Fiona Apple – “When the Pawn…”
    The Roots – “How I Got Over”
    Cesaria Evora – “Cafe Atlantico”
    Radiohead – “In Rainbows”
    Guns ‘n’ Roses – “Appetite for Destruction”

  • Corrine Bailey Rae’s first album
    Teedra Moses – Complex Simplicity
    TLC – Crazy Sexy Cool
    Lyfe Jennings’s first album

  • pretty~wings

    D’Angelo’s [email protected] Cirkus, Stockholm (but technically I don’t think it’s an official album) I have yet to listen to another album (live album) that can match in terms of the raw energy and illuminating vibes.

    Erykah Badu – Live

    Michael Jackson – History Disc1

    So many other honorable mentions like: Nneka (No longer at ease and victim of truth), TLC (crazysexycool, fanmail) the list could go on and on!