New York rapper Shyne recalls the publicized December 1999 Manhattan nightclub shooting that landed him behind bars for a ten-year sentence.
Based on an excerpt from his cover story, Shyne’s decision to use a weapon around civilians was an act of self-defense.
“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)
Shyne’s rise to fame came from his association with Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment.
Shyne was well-known among the public before Bad Boy Records even released his debut — which was, for many years, his only — album. That album charted well, thanks in part to all the media attention he’d garnered over the years, and he showcased a remarkable talent for rapping despite his young-twenty-something age. The album wasn’t an especially memorable work, however, and Shyne remained far better-known for his story than for his music. (All Music)
Shyne was eventually released from prison in October 2009 and deported to Belize.
The September XXL Magazine drops Tuesday, August 10th.
Check out Shyne’s new “Belize” single below: