September 23, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Dr. Dre’s protege released his debut, Regulate G Funk Era in June. Three months later, it’s still a top 10 pop and R&B album and has already been certified multi-platinum. Here’s who inspires the G-Man from Long Beach, Calif., while he’s touring with R. Kelly and Coolio:

Enchantment Enchantment (United Artists) ”It’s an old record, came out in 1977. But it’s got four or five beautiful tracks. How can I explain it? It’s a real, real mellow funk. Beautiful.”

Michael Jackson Thriller (Epic) I like it. It grooves. It’s got good melody. Sometimes when I’m by myself driving, I sing out loud with it.”

Aretha Franklin Sparkle (Atlantic) ”Aretha can blow! She can sing real good. Her and the music just hits, just connects right together, creates a wonderful melody. Plus it’s talking about people, about street life in general.”

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