A man who was bullied as a child for his stammer has overcome his speech impediment by becoming a rapper thanks to the help of Kanye West.
Chris Heath, 20, began going to speech therapy classes from the age of six but nothing seemed to help his condition which left him unable to get his words out.
He carried on going to the classes for four years but it was only when Chris came across rap music that his stammer started to improve.
And he thanks his main idol American rapper Kanye West for helping his speech improve which enabled him to become a rapper himself.
Chris, known as his stage name BiG HEATH, said: “Kanye West raps a lot about his ego and how he never lets his haters get him down.
“As someone who was bullied and had problems with my confidence this really hit home with me, I really felt his music.”
Chris remembers the embarrassing and frustrating times when he had words on the tip of his tongue but could not speak them.
He said: “I remember a couple of times in my childhood which really stick out for me, when I moved to upper school everyone had to introduce themselves to the class, I was dreading it when it came to me because I knew my bloody name but I just couldn’t say it.”
Another time, his grandfather got a new laptop and Chris was left in tears because he was not able to say ‘laptop’ but now Chris can speak to people without a trace of his condition.
According to him, he says he still has the problem but has learned how to manage it with a lot of help for his music.
He said: “When I was about 10 on iTunes I stumbled across rap and absolutely fell in love with it, I could rap without having to stutter.
“I’ve had it for as long as I can remember, I still have it – I’ve just grown up with it.
“You sort of work ways around it – if you know a certain word you can’t say I think of a different word.
“The most frustrating thing about having it, when you want to say something and you know what to say, it’s in your head but you just can’t say it.
“Finally being able to, it was great.”
Chris, from Trumpington, Cambs., was in the car with his mum on the way to a speech therapy class when the 2004 smash hit “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West came on the radio and his mum noticed he could rap the whole song without stuttering.
Without his parents knowledge, his brother David, 26, had been showing him his favourite rap albums and learnt Chris could rap along flawlessly.
After hearing Kanye’s “College Dropout” Chris fell in love with music and used rap to combat his impediment.
He then started to write his own rap at the age of 13 and produce his own beats under the name ‘Biggy Stutters’.
Chris said his stutter could be hereditary after his grandad developed one after his friend died, and his dad was born with it.
Growing up with a stutter was the “worst thing” as he was picked on at school – and he became known by his last name as he found it was easier to say than Chris.
“It was awful as a kid but in a weird way it made you a bit different and it made you stronger,” he added.
“I got picked on but it got to the stage when I didn’t really care.”
Chris graduated from the University of East London last month and has been creating his own rap music since he was 16.
This year his career has started to take off after playing festivals The Great Escape in Brighton and Lovebox in London.
Next month he will be performing on the main stage at the Sundown Festival in Norfolk.
He said: “I’ve turned something which I used to struggle with into something fantastic, who would of thought that some of the people who bullied me would pay to hear me rap.”