Tom Sinclair
September 19, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Not many rappers can count homemaker Martha Stewart as a friend, but Busta Rhymes does. ”She’s just a beautiful person,” he enthused after appearing with her on the MTV Music Video Awards Sept. 4. In fact, Rhymes (who just released his second solo CD, When Disaster Strikes) says he’d love to record with her. Before she gets on the mic, though, she might want to study the following, now in heavy rotation on Rhymes’ sound system.

LIFE AFTER DEATH The Notorious B.I.G.: ”I love this with a passion. His storytelling, the way he illustrates things — I just love the way he put it together. A lot of times when I would listen to it, it would affect me emotionally. I tried to capture the way that made me feel on my album.”

THE CARNIVAL Wyclef Jean featuring Refugee Allstars: ”This may be the first hip-hop world-music album. He’s able to capture so many different cultures on there. Spanish, French, Jamaican — it has so many different musical things going on. I love the fact he was able to capture all that on a hip-hop level.”

GHETTO D Master P: ”I can’t leave him out! He’s the biggest inspiration to me right now. I love the way he represents hip-hop. Authentic hip-hop is a spiritual thing more than a sound thing, and I can feel Master P.”

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