Former Bad Boy Records rapper Shyne has explained what the Jewish holiday Chanukah means to him and why each day’s celebration, beginning Wednesday (December 21), holds significance.
Embracing his new faith, Shyne broke down what embodies the religious holiday.
“Chanukah represents eight days of miracles. My life feels like 33 years of miracles. Just like the small Israelite army defeated the massive Greek troops during these eight days, my entire life has been battle after battle. [But while ] odds against me, I always come out triumphant. Hallelujah, Shyne got his voice and his swag back. A miracle indeed,” Shyne explained. “Shyne, even in the darkest cell in Clinton Dannemora, haunted by the spirit of Tupac Shakur, I Shyne. Just like the olive oil in the holy temple enough for only one day yet [it] burned for eight days, [I Shyne]. I was supposed to be in a grave or a jail, but with divine intervention I [still] Shyne.” (XXL Mag)
He also revealed what plans are in store for this week’s celebration.
“This is my third Chanukah out the pen, my second in Israel. [I] just flew back from France to the Holy Land. I more or less spend this time turning up all my efforts on my greatest battles. Right now my biggest fight is to get back to the U.S.A. It’s necessary. Too many young bloods spending the rest of their lives in prison because they have no alternative. I’m putting together the Shyne Coming To America Goodwill Tour. This tour will focus on high risk inner city youths [and will help] to deter crime and violence as the only option. I want to see my little brothers in Harvard, Howard or Yale, not Rikers Island. The goal is to raise a million dollars for scholarships and other youth programs to keep these young Oprahs and Obamas off the street and in the class room. That’s my wish for Chanukah: to return to the streets that made me and help my little bros up out the struggle. Occupy U.S.A.” (XXL Mag)
Recently, Shyne proclaimed his dedication to the Jewish way of life.
“If you look at all my interviews, I been talking about being Jewish. That was before you even heard about Drake or any of these dudes. I’ve been throwing that Ethiopian Jew thing up…you can go back to the first interview I did with XXL. This ain’t nothing new. When I did my MTV interview, I was Moses Levy. But they’re making it seem like, “Shyne comes to Jerusalem and becomes religious.” (Hip Hop DX)
In late November, he appeared on a track alongside fellow Jewish artist Matisyahu.
Jewish rappers Matisyahu and Shyne band together to celebrate the “Miracle” of Hanukkah. The former Bad Boy adds a verse to the reggae star’s single about the Festival of Lights, which appears on his Miracle EP. “I recorded this aiming to make a celebratory, feel-good song that still gets across the depth of Judaism rather than the typical watered down Jewish humor about matzah balls and Chanukah Harry,” said Matisyahu. “I’m trying to make the Jewish kids out there proud.” (Rap-Up)
Check out a recent Shyne interview below: