'Puffy': Name Game

Wanting to shake off the bad name he might have picked up for being tried (and acquitted) on gun possession and bribery charges, rap mogul Sean “Puffy” Combs, 31, told MTV News on Wednesday that he’s found a new nickname for himself. “No more ‘Puff Daddy,’ ” said Combs. “The first week in June, we’re gonna have a name-change ceremony . . . I’m not doing it as serious (sic) as Prince, (but) I just want something fresh.” And that would be? “I’m rockin’ with ‘P. Diddy’ now,” Combs said, crediting “my man” Notorious B.I.G. (“Biggie” Smalls) with coming up with that one. As it turns out, the hip-hop entrepreneur has used the “P. Diddy” handle in past producing credits. Similarly, his appearance on rapper G-Dep’s new single, “Let’s Get It,” is credited to P. Diddy. Combs also told MTV, “I gotta take a break . . . I’m going to take a leave of absence just to be Sean Combs, (to) have time to think about what’s the next level I want to play to.” As for his now-defunct relationship with Jennifer Lopez, Combs told TV’s “Access Hollywood” in an interview to be aired Thursday night that someday he and the actress-singer will speak again.

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