PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH ROGERS/THE DAILY BEAST

By Britni Danielle

His raspy voice first boomed through my headphones on the Wake Up Show anthem back in 1994, changing my life forever. I remember sitting up in bed when he began spitting his intricate rhymes, wondering who the hell he was and how I could hear more. At the time, I was shy and quiet, and spent most of my time trying to make sense of my parents’ tenuous relationship, which wobbled on the precipice of divorce. Just when I needed it most, the kid who’d dubbed himself “the corrupt novelist Nas” invaded my ears, giving me something else to obsess over than the demise of my family.