New York rapper Shyne has opened up on his label status after the departure of former Island Def Jam President L.A. Reid and revealed numerous Rikers Island jail visits from rap star Jay-Z during his 2001-2009 incarceration.
According to Shyne, he is no longer on Def Jam and could end up on Cash Money Records.
“I’m in that Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale culture,” Shyne continued. “Not saying that wouldn’t be the case if I were to sign to Cash Money, but we would have to work those things out. YMCMB is definitely one of my affiliates, from the streets to the music, so anything they want from me they could get from me. But right now, I’m an entrepreneur. … When L.A. Reid left Def Jam [in March], I left Def Jam. I’m on my own right now. It got to make sense. Ain’t nothing signed on the line right now. … Jay actually came to see me on Rikers Island. When I got out, a lot of people don’t know that he was the one that negotiated my deal to go to Universal Music Group. He actually put a deal together with Jimmy Iovine. Jay’s always been supportive to me.” (XXL Mag)
In March, Shyne opened up about having to pave his own lane in the rap game and not being on Jay’s level.
“Preparing for my first album that’s coming out after so many years of not being able to live my dream, it’s really a dream come true. I’m inspired that I’m not Jay Z right now; I’m not getting a couple million dollars to do show. I haven’t sold 10’s of millions of records; I’m not on the level that I need to be. And that’s very important the Belizean people to understand when they measure what I want to do for them as a patriot and as a person that’s fortunate, and what at this point, I can do.” (7 News Belize)
Prior to apologizing, Shyne told SOHH about his issues with Def Jam.
“I’m definitely trying to get with Cash Money but the Def Jam thing is a question mark right now,” Shyne told SOHH. “I’ve been fixing to get up out of there for a while now because [Island Def Jam CEO] L.A. Reid don’t care about hip-hop. The people up there, they don’t know what they’re doing. When you don’t have a strong leader, where you gonna go? … They don’t care about hip-hop music. You give them a hip-hop record with an R&B singer, you “might” have a chance. They don’t care. You got The Roots, Ghostface, Nas, probably the best hip-hop roster you could imagine and they do nothing. L.A. Reid doesn’t want nothing to do with rappers — it’s nothing personal, I don’t have nothing personal with dude but he makes it known he doesn’t care about hip-hop. So I’m really interested in seeing who’s gonna replace him. Because I know he’s been replaced — so I wanna find out who’s gonna take his spot before I decide what I’m gonna do with Def Jam…The music that we make is responsible for pop, R&B, everything that’s jumping right now…” (SOHH)
In February 2010, Reid traveled to Belize to announce bringing Shyne to Def Jam.
“I have come here to stand by Shyne and to officially kick off our partnership with Island Def Jam Music Group and Gangland Records and so it is really an honour to be here, really very special place. I am here because great people are worthy of travelling many many miles for it and I come here to say that your country is great and I hope you guys know that this is a great man from your country who deserves this kind of respect and who deserves this kind of support. So that is why we are here.” (7 News Belize)
Check out some recent Shyne footage below: