After former Bad Boy Records artist Shyne raised eyebrows this week for saying he does not want to be viewed as a rapper, he has now come forward to clarify his statements.
Shyne claims his comments were out of context and did not fully represent his true feelings.
“A lot of these mainstream people…I don’t know if they don’t get African Americans or they don’t get rappers. Is it like we’re supposed to be dumb or unintelligent? If you read the piece, it’s so empty. He just took a bunch of words and just threw it on the paper. The facts are all out of place, and it makes me look like a novelty. 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 Leviy. But they’re making it seem like, “Shyne comes to Jerusalem and becomes religious.” (Hip Hop DX)
He also went on to say while he still prefers to sway from hip-hop, he doesn’t hold any “anti-rap” feelings.
“I’m not denouncing Rap, but I honestly don’t listen to a lot of it. My life is too real to listen to that. I can’t really listen to a dude talk about all this gun toting and this dope that he’s selling. But there’s a lot of talented artists out there. I like this A.S.A.P. [Rocky] kid. He’s funky with it, and he’s got a line [on “Wassup”] that says, “I ain’t talkin’ about no money / I ain’t talkin’ about no cars / I ain’t talkin’ bout no diamonds ’cause that sh*t is a façade…” I’m feeling that. There’s a lot of artists out there making good music, but again, I can’t get into too much of it.” (Hip Hop DX)
Earlier this week, Shyne said his love for music is deeper than rap.
His thing is music. As Shyne, he has completed two unreleased albums, Gangland and Messiah. Both are rap, but “totally philosophical and sophisticated,” he says. “No misogyny. None of that deranged stuff I used to be into” a decade or so ago, as a protégé of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs at Bad Boy Entertainment. He was with Combs and his girlfriend at the time, Jennifer Lopez, when the ruckus broke out in the Club New York. Combs and his bodyguard were also tried but acquitted. “I don’t even want to be a rapper,” Levi says at one point in the interview. “I don’t listen to that music. I’m a musician. I’d rather be like Bob Marley or Leonard Cohen, one of those guys.” (Global Spin)
Recently, producer Ken Lewis hit up SOHH and revealed his in-studio work for Shyne.
“I mixed like 18 songs for him and I produced the first single coming out in December,” Lewis told SOHH. “You know, when he got out, obviously the biggest thing that changed about him as an artist was his flow and he was getting hammered on the blogs for it. But I’ve got to say, I have so much respect for him for just believing in what he’s doing and not changing just because some people say he should change. Imagine if everybody said, ‘I don’t like Drake’s flow, he should change his flow.’ And then Drake changes his flow and you’re like, ‘Did Drake really change his flow because the blogs told him to?’ That would be ridiculous. Just because some people aren’t connecting with what Shyne is doing, everybody is like Shyne should change, but why? Shyne knows who his audience is. He knows who he is trying to reach. He’s trying to reach the people in the streets and the jails. Shyne doesn’t give a f*ck if the bloggers don’t like him. To me, I have a ton of respect for him for saying, ‘This is who I am now, this is what I want to do. I want this to be the best version. Love it or leave it.’ He didn’t bow to the pressure and he’s told me, ‘I don’t give a f*ck what those people say.’ Is that supposed to be a bad thing because he has integrity?” (SOHH)
Check out a recent Shyne interview below: