Boyz II Men Gambling, Jewel Rambling, Inspectah Deck Scrambling: This Week In 1998

With smash hits like “End of the Road” and “I’ll Make Love to You” under
their matching belts, the guys of Boyz II Men can afford to take a gamble.
So MTV News’ Chris Connelly caught up with the Motownphilly high rollers on
a recent trip to Las Vegas, where they were hurting street signs with their
van and getting hurt in the pocket by roulette.

Connelly: Why are you betting all on twenties? Is it your age or the number
of records?

Shawn Stockman: I tell you, we’ve sold about 25 million records. I’m 25
years old, so I did 25 red. Twenty-six, I’ll be 26 on the 26th of September
of this year.

The Boyz lost their shirts at roulette, but it wasn’t until they stopped at
a nearby wedding chapel that the group learned what busted in Vegas really
meant.

Connelly: Gentlemen, what do you think happened here? This is your van here?

Wanya Morris: It’s not my van.

Shawn Stockman: Not ours, and that’s for the record.

Connelly: Isn’t that just like you guys. Some guys wreck hotel rooms when
they’re on tour. You guys …

Michael McCary: We wreck clearance signs.

Being the hopeless romantics that they are, Boyz II Men stuck around and
sang “Can You Stand the Rain” to a couple of newlyweds. Then they offered
some unsolicited advice to the men in their audience. Guys, if you come to a
Boyz II Men show and the group starts throwing flowers from the stage, let
the ladies have them.

Shawn Stockman: We’ll throw a flower, and it’s going in the air and it’s
going, and all of a sudden you see this athletic brother just coming out of
nowhere, stretch his had out and go, “Rooaaarrr.” You be like, “Aww, man.”
So fellas, please don’t take the flowers from the girls. Let the girls have
them. It’s OK.

Singer/songwriter Jewel was striving to be recognized as
singer/songwriter/poet Jewel this week in 1998. Known for her yodely
folk-pop styling, she had just published a book of poems called “A Night
Without Armor.”

Jewel: Poetry’s my therapy. It’s my process when I’m hurt in a relationship,
when I’m bitter and when I start to recover and when I start to want to love
again. You see the process in poetry. Songwriting doesn’t really tend to
reflect that. The process is detailed, which is nice and is actually one of
the things I liked about putting the book out. People can know me more
directly and sincerely than as an image of a pop star or something. I did
begin to feel fearful that people could consume me without ever knowing what
I tasted like. People would take the image and believe that I was raised by
wolves in Alaska. “Foolish Games” actually came from some different poems I
put together, but it’s actually kind of rare. This tends to be more
autobiographical, the book. I tried to, you know, when I compiled the book,
to be as holistic as I could, to put in really passionate, sensual poems,
love poems as well as bitter. … I almost published anonymously, except it
kind of defeated a lot of purposes, so I decided to take the brunt of a lot
of hits and just be as honest as I could and as good as I could.

The Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck was busy preparing to release a solo album
back in 1998, and despite all the work that came along with that
responsibility, he thoroughly enjoyed the freedom that came from calling all
the shots on Uncontrolled Substance.

Inspectah Deck: Just how I feel right here in front of this [studio
equipment] is like flying the Enterprise. … It feels like the Starfleet
commander right now ’cause the steering wheel’s in my hand, you know, and
all I’m doing is running with it.

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