Kate Newman met Nas in 1991 when she was an A&R rep at Columbia Records. She would help him release one of the greatest rap albums of all-time, Illmatic and back his craft during the two-years he spent making his seminal LP. Newman was honored Nas with a speech at the 2nd annual Impact Awards, held in Los Angeles over Grammy weekend. "He has become as relevant and as iconic to American music history as The Beatles or The Rolling Stones," Newman said in her speech. "I think that we knew it from the beginning, we knew how special he was." I don't think he set out to make history but we did, he did. I was just glad I was kinda along for the ride and gave him a platform for his genius."