On the eve of the release of his Forever album, hip-hop impresario Puffy Combs sat down with MTV News to talk about Jennifer Lopez — though he still wasn't fessing up about their relationship — finding the right girl, his entourage, and survival, among other things ...
Chris Connelly: Where does this record find you emotionally?
Puffy: This record finds me emotionally happy. After going through the whole situation with Biggie passing, and honestly, having No Way Out out and touring, I wasn't happy during none of that time. I was extremely depressed during most of that time.
Connelly: What do you think you've survived the last couple of years? Just in the last year it seems like you've survived a lot.
Puffy: I've survived some nervous breakdowns, possibly (laughs). I've survived just the pressure of the streak of every record I put out going gold or platinum.
Connelly: When do you know your entourage is too big?
Puffy: I guess when you're traveling to Los Angeles and everybody can't fit on one plane.
Connelly: What three things should any hip-hop museum have?
Puffy: You should have a pair of Run-DMC Adidas, you should have an LL Cool J Kangol and the Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill.
Connelly: Have you found that one girl?
Puffy: Right now, nah. Right now I'm not really looking. I'm single. I'm chilling.
Connelly: Let's face it, you were linked to Jennifer Lopez a lot. You continued to deny it. She did too, but whatever your actual situation was, was it tough to be discussed in that sort of way in a public forum?
Puffy: It was strange for me because I never really heard a hip-hop artist being talked about like what girl they messing with, so it was ill for me.
Connelly: Does the success make it harder to know that someone's really in love with you, as opposed to in love with your bank account or your success or your performing?
Puffy: No doubt. You definitely be looking with one eye open like, "What's really going on?"
For her part, Jennifer Lopez took time out from gearing up for a new movie, "The Cell," to shoot a video for her single "Waiting for Tonight." MTV News dropped by the set.
"Francis Lawrence is just a great director," Lopez said. "He's done a lot of videos that I like and I just love his work. I wanted it to be fun and have a certain type of energy and he came back with the treatment of the video where it was this millennium party in the jungle. Just the way he described it, it sounded perfect, the kind of thing I really wanted to do so we just went with it."
This week in 1999 singer/songwriter/piano pounder Tori Amos previewed material from her somewhat accidental new album, To Venus & Back, for fans via a webcast.
Originally slated to be collection of B-sides plus only a few new tracks, Venus turned into a double album, one live and one featuring 10 new songs. It took on a life of its own thanks to the wisdom of a nudist friend of Amos' named Marcel.
"He said, 'I don't think that you could combine the new stuff with the B-sides, because they're from completely different universes,' " Amos explained. "So it started off as, 'Oh my god, I'm making a new record, aren't I?' "
Prior to the album's release, Amos hit the road with sister-in-arms Alanis Morissette, and she had no worries at all about whether or not her fans could be won over by Alanis.
"They're elegant people," she said. "They're not tacky and it's really about the differences, not the similarities, you know."
There were no plans, however, for the two ladies to hit the stage together.
"There are no plans for that now," Amos said. "Singing 'I Got You Babe?'
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