Shyne has opened up about his religious practices, and discussed maintaining his street credibility while walking the sanctified path.
According to Shyne, he currently resides in Israel, living as an Orthodox Jew.
“All these rules, rules, rules,” the rapper said about the strict religious requirements. “But you know what you have if you don’t have rules? You end up with a bunch of pills in your stomach.” Even though Shyne sports a Hasidic-style hat and a black jacket that hangs to his knees, the Brooklyn-raised rapper said he hasn’t lost his street cred. “There’s nothing in the Chumash [a Jewish book] that says I can’t drive a Lamborghini,” said Shyne, who was released from prison last year after serving nine years. (New York Post)
Ex-Bad Boy artist Loon spoke on his departure from Diddy‘s label last year to pursue Islam.
“Loon is working his way out of my system,” he said in an interview. “I’m just happy to be accepting Islam and finding the peace of mind that I was always searching for in the music business and it was very difficult to find this place in my life now but thanks to Islam I’ve been able to complete my search and I’m very much at peace. Bad Boy days are over, now I’m what you would call a good boy. [laughs] Right now I’m very much focused on studying Islam…being in the position of influence, I have to be able to protect myself in ways the media sometimes tries to use these transitions that artists make and try to make an opportunity to mock Islam or whatever faith somebody might choose…With me, I very much love the music but it’s the lifestyle that’s really the bad influence. The music, sometimes, can be geared towards people to do positive things but the actual part that detours people from practicing their faith is really the lifestyle.” (Al Jazeera)
Mase, another former Bad Boy artist, “retired” from rap a decade ago due to his new-found Christianity.
“I think people look at me like I’ve taken the step that people are most fearful of taking,” he said in an interview January 2009. “It’s not just the giving it up; it’s the sticking with it. Like most people have seen a lot of entertainers entertain the thought, but we haven’t seen many stick with it….In order for people to understand, you have to take them from where you were, to where you are. So in taking people from where I was, it would require you to do music that exemplified where you were, then if I would have stayed in it, I was going to musically bring them to where I am. But then I started seeing that what I’m thinking and what they’re thinking is totally two different things.” (Phoenix New Times)
Aside from religion, Shyne recently inked an apology letter to Island Def Jam after publicly calling out company executive L.A. Reid.
“I was wrong about my assessment of Chairman Reid. After I stopped being all Carl Thomas emotional and things like that, I thought about the facts. Fact is L.A Reid was there when I was locked, a few feet away from death row and the Black Panthers. L.A. was on the visit floor on Rikers Island looking at me through them blinding bars, showing me he believed in that gang boy revolutionary music I make. A bond forged at the nadir of suffering [that’s] unbreakable. That’s why I chose L.A. Reid over all the other distributors. We already went through it. I’ll never forget what L.A. did for me behind that b-wall. Caged like an animal, stripped of all my rights; he gave me freedom– freedom to follow my vision. Freedom to make my momma smile after so many tears and sleepless nights weeping for her baby boy like Rachel the matriarch weeps for the Israelites.” (XXL Mag)
Check out some recent Shyne footage down below: