Puffy Tells MTV "We Never Hired Crips"

March 25 [7:55 EST] -- Bad Boy Entertainment chief Sean "Puffy" Combs spoke with MTV News on Monday afternoon about the murder of his friend Christopher Wallace, better known as rapper and Bad Boy recording star The Notorious B.I.G.

During Monday's interview, Kurt Loder asked Puffy Combs about recent media reports that Biggie's killer may have been a member of L.A.'s Crips gang, and that members of that gang had been hired by Bad Boy as West Coast security guards.

"We've never hired Crips, or any other gang faction, to do security for us," Combs told MTV News. "But the misconception is that because we're young and we're black, we're not handling business like anybody else. We're trying our best to handle our business just like any other businessman in the world. And it would be extremely unintelligent to hire gangs to do security for you. We have never... never hired any gangs

for security. As a matter of fact, when we were out there we had off duty California police officers as security with us that night, that it happened, also. And we always have bonded security professionals that are with us."

The complete half-hour Puffy Combs interview will air this Sunday night at 10:30 in the "MTV News Presents" time slot.

As we reported yesterday, Puffy, who has the number one single in the country this week, had released a statement late Friday about Biggie's death, saying "Every day I try to make sense of why my friend is not here. It isn't easy."

In the statement, Combs also repeats what he has said before, that "in my heart and mind there is no East Coast/West Coast rap war. I do not want it. I do not like it. I will not fuel it."

Finally, Combs says he will use a portion of his profits from Biggie's new album, "Life After Death" (due in stores on Tuesday), to open an educational and recreational center in Biggie's Brooklyn

'hood, to be called the Christopher Wallace Youth Center.