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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