Former Bad Boy Records artist Shyne recently discussed how he has been able to maintain his relevance despite spending nearly an entire decade behind bars for a 1999 club shooting conviction.
From Shyne’s perspective, he was “chosen” to represent for the people.
“The reason that I’m blessed and the reason I’m even existing today in a world with people’s attentions so short and motherf*ckers don’t even remember what happened ten minutes ago, or the last rapper from ten years ago, the only reason motherf*ckers are jacking Shyne is divine intervention,” Shyne said in an interview about remaining relevant from prison. “It’s because I’m for the people. I’m for my brother. I don’t care what color, I don’t care what rag you waving, if it’s right, I’m with you. And that’s like saying how did Martin Luther King‘s dream get recognized? How does Barack Obama exist? That’s because what they were doing was right. It was never about Matin Luther King. It was never about Barack Hussein Obama. It was never about [Nelson] Mandela. It was never about Abraham Lincoln or John Quincy Adams when he defended the runaway slaves. It was about what was right. Men aren’t great, men can just do it for great things to take place on this earth. God has preserved me because he knows I’m honest.” (The Life Files)
Recently, Shyne reflected on his publicized 1999 shooting in New York.
“I can tell you I was defending myself and the muthaf*ckas that was with me,” Shyne explains. “Listen, I live my life for what’s right. When I grew up, death and harsh consequences and spending the rest of your life in the pen is a matter of fact. It’s not somethin’ that you read about in the newspaper…In my life, when I make decisions to roll, I roll. And I don’t give a f*ck what the consequences are. If I’ma defend myself, I’ma defend myself. If somebody tryna kill or hurt one of my partnas or my comrades that’s with me, there is no, ‘Yo… or D*mn, well, if I pull this sh*t out, this is what’s gonna happen.’ No! I don’t wanna die. I don’t wanna be laid up in no f*ckin’ hospital with a tube runnin’ through me, hurtin’ and sufferin’. Pain is real. So you know what? I’m not doin’ that. You gon’ do that, muthaf*cka. You gon’ roll and say hi to Satan, not me. And that’s that. After the fact, you deal with it. Your survival instincts tell you to protect and preserve, and you deal with whatever later.” (XXL Magazine)
Shyne’s shootout took place in 1999 at the height of the rapper’s popularity.
The fracas broke out on December 27, 1999, at a Manhattan nightclub where Shyne, Sean “Diddy” Combs with then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez and their entourage had been partying. Around 3 a.m., Combs and Shyne allegedly began arguing with another group of patrons. Someone threw money at Combs, a gesture of disrespect, and guns started going off. Three bystanders were shot. Shyne, who police found with a pistol in his waistband, was arrested after bystanders identified him as one of the shooters. Shyne received a 10-year prison. Barrow has always claimed he acted in self-defense and only fired his gun after the other group, Matthew “Scar” Allen and his crew began shooting. (About)
Despite being imprisoned, the rapper released an album in August 2004.
Jailed rapper Shyne, who signed a $3 million record deal and recorded part of his new album while in prison, had his phone privileges revoked and was barred from conducting in-person interviews as authorities investigate whether he may have violated prison rules in making about 100 phone calls. (USA Today)
Check out Shyne’s interview below: