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


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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