Shyne in 2010
|Birth name||Jamal Michael Barrow|
|Also known as||Moses Michael Levi|
November 8, 1978 |
Belize City, Belize
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States|
|Years active||1996 – present|
Bad Boy/Arista, Def Jam (former)
|Associated acts||Puff Daddy, Ma$e, Swizz Beats|
Moses Michael Levi (born Jamal Michael Barrow, 8 November 1979), better known by his stage name Shyne, is a Belizean rapper. He moved to New York as a child to join his mother and started his career there. His father is attorney and politician Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize since 2008.
The boy and his mother lived in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East Flatbush, where Shyne became a musician and rapper. He is perhaps best known for his work with Bad Boy Records. On the verge of his debut album, he was involved in a 1999 shooting incident; he was convicted of assault and served nine years in prison. His album in 2000 was still a success, and he continued to record in prison.
During this period Shyne studied Judaism with rabbis, and later converted to Orthodox Judaism, officially changing his name to Moses Michael Levi. After being released from prison in 2009, Barrow was deported to Belize as a non-citizen felon. He has since performed in Jerusalem and Ukraine, and released more albums. He also has started a clothing line.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Music career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Discography
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
He was born Jamal Michael Barrow in 1979 in Belize City, Belize to Frances Imeon Myvette and Dean Barrow, who were not married. (His father was married to another woman.) His middle name is after his mother's brother. The boy grew up estranged from his father, who was elected in 2008 as Prime Minister of Belize; he was the first black leader of the country. Jamal's mother, Frances Imeon Myvette, is the sister of Michael Myvett, now going by the surname Finnegan, one of Dean Barrow's long-time political colleagues in Belize.
Shyne's mother moved to the United States when the boy was three, leaving her son temporarily in the care of her brother Michael Myvett (now Michael Finnegan) in Belize City. When he was 8 years old, Jamal Barrow moved to Brooklyn to live with his mother in East Flatbush. There he began to absorbe the hip-hop culture in the 1980s and 1990s.
Shyne has said that from the age of thirteen, he began to identify as "an Israelite." He felt a stronger pull after learning that a great-grandmother was from Ethiopia, and has speculated that she may have been among the Beta Israel, ancient Ethiopian Jews. As a teenager, he began to pray daily and to study Judaism on his own.
1997-1999: Career beginnings and signing to Bad Boy Entertainment
In 1998, while Shyne was freestyling in a barbershop, American hip hop producer Clark Kent discovered him, noticing "something very weird in his voice". He sounded eerily similar to the late Notorious B.I.G.. At the time, Kent was working on the Born Again posthumous album of B.I.G. He quickly took Shyne to the Bad Boy studios, where Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs signed him on the spot. It was reported that Shyne received millions of dollars, three cars of his choice and two homes just for signing. The contract also included a five-album deal. This event caused a small media shockwave.
Not long after, Shyne started making appearances on recordings made by his Bad Boy Entertainment label-mates. He was notably featured on Mase's second album, Double Up (1999), and on a remix of Total's "Sittin At Home" single. In the same year he featured on chief executive Sean Combs' debut album Forever.
1999–2008: Shyne, prison, and Godfather Buried Alive
||This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (July 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
On December 27, 1999, Shyne, along with Combs and his then-girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez, were involved in a high-profile incident at a Manhattan club. Three people were injured. Shyne was charged with attempted murder, assault, and reckless endangerment. This led to rumors about Shyne's position at Bad Boy Records and doubts about whether his debut album was going to be released.
Shyne gained release of his self-titled debut album in September 2000. The album featured guest appearances from Barrington Levy and 112's Slim, as well as production from Bad Boy's in house producers The Hitmen. Shyne's self-titled debut album was recorded prior to the rapper's arrest. It made Billboard's number five spot on the charts and sold more than 900,000 copies.
In July 2001, Shyne was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Combs was acquitted of weapons charges in the case. While many labels met with Shyne while he was at the Clinton Correctional Facility, the rapper ultimately signed with Def Jam Records for a $3 million contract.
In 2004, Shyne released his second album Godfather Buried Alive, while imprisoned. The album, recorded prior to imprisonment and partially over the phone, sold 434,000 copies and hit No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop chart.
2009-present: Release from prison and third album
Upon his early release in 2009 from his 10-year prison sentence, the Belize native was deported to his homeland as a non-citizen felon; he had never become a naturalized US citizen. He was represented by Harvard professor and attorney Charles Ogletree in his attempt to forestall deportation and later to regain entry.
On February 16, 2010, Shyne was reported to have signed a seven-figure deal with Def Jam Records. After a trip to Jerusalem in 2010, where he converted to Orthodox Judaism, Shyne collaborated with Israeli reggae and rock musician Matisyahu on his single "Messiah," released in April 2010. It was strongly criticized by fans and music critics. Shyne also released "Roller Song" in 2010.
In October 2010, Shyne criticized Def Jam and announced hopes of signing to Cash Money Records. Shyne said,
"I'm definitely trying to get with Cash Money….I'm not signed to Def Jam anyway, I just need to find another distributor. I might just have Cash Money do everything. Who knows? That's the beauty about being in the business for yourself. You can decide where you want to go and what you want to do.
Although he blamed Def Jam CEO L.A. Reid for his frustration, later that month Shyne issued an apology. In November 2010, Birdman said that Shyne's deportation had stalled his Cash Money deal, as it would prevent him from appearing in the US.
In November 2010 Shyne was living in Jerusalem, where he underwent a formal conversion to Orthodox Judaism and arranged further studies with rabbis. He had studied seriously with rabbis while in prison and adopted the Jewish laws to create boundaries and order in his life. He officially changed his name to Moses Levi to reflect his commitment to Judaism.
Shyne made a surprise guest appearance in the Matisyahu and HaDag Nachash concert in Jerusalem’s Kikar Safra on June 23, 2011. He rapped into Matisyahu’s set for "King Without a Crown". He shouted "Free Jonathan Pollard, Free Gilad Shalit" to thunderous applause before he exited the stage. Matisyahu and Shyne have shared Judaism and have become best friends. They have discussed collaborating more frequently in the future.
In August 2011, Shyne appeared on the track "Outro", from Lil Wayne's platinum-selling ninth studio album Tha Carter IV (2011), along with Bun B, Nas and Busta Rhymes. In December 2011, Shyne said signing to Cash Money Records "is still a possibility". In March 2012, Shyne and Diddy finally reconciled. The two were photographed together at Fashion Week in Paris; Diddy tweeted, "Me and Shyne Po front row at Kenzo #ParisIsBurning RT to da world!!!!"
In April 2012, Shyne traveled to Kiev, Ukraine, where he was a featured speaker at a conference on inter-religious understanding. The conference – called Global Winds of Change: Religions' Role in Today's World;The Challenges in Democracies and Secular Societies – brought together members of the world's many faiths to discuss the role of religion in modern society. Oleksandr Feldman, a member of the Ukrainian parliament and the President of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, hosted the three-day event. In October 2012 Shyne endorsed Mitt Romney for president of the United States, faulting President Obama for not doing anything to prevent the rapper's deportation to Belize.
In 2012, Shyne released a mixtape titled Gangland. Shyne called out Rick Ross, due to his blasphemous Black Bar Mitzvah mixtape, as well as Jewish-Canadian rapper Drake. He has also recorded diss tracks towards Diddy, Swag Blanket's DLSupreme and 50 Cent.
Shyne became involved in a feud with West Coast rapper Game, after Shyne described as "trash" the West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar's universally acclaimed debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012). Shyne dissed Game on tracks such as "Bury Judas" and "Psalms 68 (Guns & Moses)." These tracks reflected his study of Judaism.
Complex Magazine in December 2012 noted Shyne on its list of rapper stars who had suffered the "30 worst fall-offs in rap history," ranking him as 23. But Shyne's Gangland mixtape appeared to show a revival of his popularity; it was downloaded more than 100,000 times on DatPiff.com, earning him a "Gold" ranking.
In 2013, Shyne released his clothing brand Gangland. It is being sold online and in select stores around the world.
Club New York shooting
On December 27, 1999, Shyne and his then-girlfriend Monay Hawkins, who were with Sean Combs (P. Diddy) and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, were involved in a shooting incident at a Manhattan club that resulted in three people being injured. Shyne, then 21 years old with a debut rap album pending release, was charged with and later convicted of attempted murder, assault, and reckless endangerment. Combs was arrested but acquitted at trial of charges.
On June 1, 2001, Shyne was sentenced to ten years in prison. He began serving his sentence at the maximum security prison Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. This seemed to spell the end of his rap career; his legal team's appeal for a suspended sentence ultimately failed. Shyne severed all ties with Sean Combs and Bad Boy Records.
He had his name legally changed, in early March 2006, from his birthname of Jamal Michael Barrow to Moses Michael Levi. He had been studying Judaism in prison with rabbis. He has identified as an Israelite since the age of 13. He speculates that his Ethiopian great-grandmother may have been of Jewish heritage. He formally converted to Orthodox Judaism in Jerusalem in 2010.
In 2006 Shyne went to court to challenge New York's application of the 'Son of Sam' law, which had resulted in his assets being frozen and limiting his ability to make record deals and income. He and his lawyers argued that allowing Shyne to make deals with record producers would enable him to pay a higher potential settlement to victims of the night club shooting, who were separately pursuing a civil suit against him.
Despite his conviction for crimes, his incarceration drew many sympathizers, as well as the admiration of many in the hip hop community. His adherence to the code of silence, which he referred to several times on his eponymous debut album, earned him a hardcore reputation in the prison community and on the streets. Even while incarcerated, he was visited by representatives of record labels who wanted to make deals. Shyne was not without detractors. Fellow New York rapper 50 Cent called him a "punk" and made light of his situation and his part in the "night club incident". Shyne retaliated on his 2004 release Godfather Buried Alive, with a track entitled "For the Record".
Release and deportation
On August 4, 2009, Shyne was released to his former producer Nick Dahms. A Manhattan judge signed the order that would schedule Shyne for release on October 6, 2009. He had served more than 9 years of a 10-year sentence, on which no terms for post-release supervision had originally been placed. At the request of the New York State Department of Correctional Services, a mandatory probation period of at least two and half years was added to Shyne's sentence. Shyne and his attorney, Oscar Michelen, had hoped to avoid probation. The rapper was transferred to the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, where he spent the last months of his incarceration, from Rikers Island where he had been held for the parole hearing.
Some of the hip hop community rallied to celebrate his release, and the events were followed by mainstream media. On October 6, 2009, Shyne was released from New York State custody. He was immediately taken into Federal custody. He was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a "detention facility in Western New York State". At least one source revealed that the facility in question was the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia. According to his attorney, Federal officials were reviewing the rapper's immigration status and making a determination on whether or not he would be deported to his native Belize. Shyne had a "green card" but had never become a naturalized citizen. There was some speculation that Shyne might have been released on bail in the US while his case was being resolved.
Shyne's uncle, Michael Finnegan, said that the family had prepared for the rapper's potential return to Belize. He also revealed that Shyne and his representatives had been expecting to be intercepted by ICE officials upon his release and had deferred members of his legal team to prepare the necessary documents in an effort to deal with this situation. Dean Barrow, Belize's Prime Minister and Shyne's estranged father, sent a petition to New York Governor David Paterson to pardon his son. In 2008 Governor Paterson had pardoned rapper Slick Rick who, in a similar situation, also faced deportation. Barrow stated that he'd been assured that the Governor received his letter and that it was under consideration, but that he did not expect to have any influence in swaying the decision.
The family said they had sought the assistance of Charles Ogletree, a Harvard Law professor and part of President Barack Obama's circle. On October 15, 2009 Michael Finnegan released a statement indicating that all legal matters regarding the case had been turned over to Ogletree. Shyne was deported to Belize on October 28, 2009, though he continued to fight for residency in the United States.
In February 2010, the rapper was refused entry into the United Kingdom due to his conviction as a felon. He had begun his journey in Cancun, Mexico, but was deported upon arrival in the UK after immigration officials refused to allow him to enter the country.
In November 2010, Shyne was living in Jerusalem, having converted to Orthodox Judaism and changing his name officially to 'Moses Michael Levi. He spent his time learning the Torah and stated that he spends up to 12 hours a day studying it. In 2011 he performed there, forming a collaboration with Matisyahu.
- Studio albums
- http://www.xxlmag.com/Features/2004/0504.shynemom/index.html retrieved December 10, 2008
- "Orthodox rapper Shyne wooing Kanye, Jay-Z"; retrieved January 27, 2011.
- "Shyne Speaks Since Release 2009 at 5:53". Shyne, Youtube.com. November 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- "Belize elects first black leader, ousts incumbent (page 2)". Catherine Bremer Reuters. February 8, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- "Rapper Shyne Fights Deportation To Belize". The Founderon, Belizean.com. October 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-12. Archived October 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Shyne's Father Elected Prime Minister of Belize". by xxl staff. February 13, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- Weichselbaum, Simone (October 7, 2009). "Rapper Shyne, jailed in Diddy and Jennifer Lopez club shooting incident, free and facing deportation". Daily News. New York.
- Amaya (March 8, 2011). "Gangland, First New Album In 7 Years, Set For May 17th Release.". Def Jam Recordings. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
Born in Belize City, at age three he was left to be raised by relatives in a ramshackle section of town when his mother emigrated to the U.S. At age eight, Shyne joined his mother in Brooklyn, where he began to soak up hip-hop culture in the 1980s and ’90s.
- "Shyne Immigration Hearing Subject to Mercy of Harvard Law Professor". Nadeska Alexis, The Boombox.com. October 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- Dina Kraft, "Rapper Finds Order in Orthodox Judaism in Israel", New York Times, 10 November 2010; accessed 22 July 2016
- Ronin Ro (October 30, 2001). Bad Boy: The Influence of Sean "Puffy" Combs on the Music Industry. Atria. pp. 129–131. ISBN 9780743428231. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "From Scratch by Mase Feat. Shyne, Harlem World & Mysonne on Double Up". nutsie.com (audio & video file). Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "P Diddy Forever CD". cduniverse.com. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "iTunes Artist Page". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- LEEDS, JEFF (August 8, 2004). "From Behind Bars, a Rapper Aims at the Top of the Chart". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- WOLF, BUCK (Sep 30, 2005). "Lil' Kim Aims to Be Rap's Martha Stewart". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- [Jayson Rodriguez, "Shyne Released, Deported To Belize"], MTV, 29 October 2009; accessed 22 July 2016
- "Shyne Thinking About Dropping Messiah Album With Cash Money". MTV. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
- "Shyne – Messiah [MUSIC VIDEO] 2010". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- Krysten Hughes, "Shyne Slated To First Single 'Messiah' On Tuesday", HipHop DX, April 10, 2010.
- "Shyne – Roller Song [NEW 2010]". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- Jake Paine, "Shyne Set To Release Two December Albums, 'Gangland' and 'Messiah'", HipHop DX, October 04, 2010.
- Kevin S. Gary, "Shyne Criticizes Def Jam Records, Seeks Deal With Cash Money", HipHop DX, October 13, 2010.
- Nadeska Alexis, "Shyne Writes Apology Letter to L.A. Reid", The Boombox, October 28, 2010.
- Latifah Muhammad, "Birdman Says Shyne Deportation Is Stalling Cash Money Deal", The Boombox, November 1, 2010.
- "Rapper Shyne Working with Matisyahu" / Jspace News
- Shyne and a Rebbe share in common a want to free Gilad Shalit! « midnightrabbi inspires
- Shyne Joins Forces With Jewish Rapper Matisyahu | Complex
- Matisyahu Sends Mazel Tov Wishes To Shyne | SOHH.COM
- "Exclusive: Shyne's Unreleased 'Outro' Verse From 'Tha Carter IV'". MTV News. 2012-01-13. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- "Shyne Says Cash Money Signing Still Possible, Talks Lil Wayne’s 'Outro' Appearance", XXL, December 16, 2011.
- Diddy And Shyne Together In Paris
- Global Winds of Change: Religions’ Role in Today’s World | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com
- "Shyne Bashes Obama, Throws Support Behind Mitt Romney". MTV News. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- "23. Shyne — The 30 Worst Fall-Offs in Rap History". Complex. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Shyne Disses Game On "Bury Judas" | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales | HipHop DX
- 23. Shyne — The 30 Worst Fall-Offs in Rap History | Complex
- David Brinn (November 12, 2010). "Taking a Shyne to Judaism". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
A 19-year-old Belize-born, New York street rapper with an Ethiopian Jewish grandmother releases his smash debut album in 2000, soon after he’s charged with attempted murder in a night club shooting involving his friends Sean (P. Diddy) Combs and Jennifer Lopez.
- "Puff Daddy out on bail". BBC News. December 28, 1999. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "SHYNE GETS TEN YEARS IN JAIL". NME News. June 1, 2001. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Shyne Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison". Brian Hiatt, MTV.com. June 1, 2001. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Puffy's Protege Sentenced To 10 Years In Club Shooting.". Jet Magazine. June 18, 2001. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "'Puffy' Visited 'Shyne'". Stephen M. Silverman, People Magazine. June 15, 2001. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- "Shyne Signs Deal With Def Jam From Behind Bars". Joeseph Patel, MTV.com. 2004. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Shyne Changes Name, Fights Asset Freeze". Blastro. March 7, 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Shyne Becomes Moses, Challenges New York's 'Son Of Sam' Law". Gil Kaufman, VH1.com. March 7, 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Shyne: Blessings With Curses". Shaheem Reid & add. John Norris, MTV.com. April 16, 2004. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Irv Gotti Eyes Shyne, Despite Jail And Bad Boy Contract". Shaheem Reid, MTV.com. August 15, 2002. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "SHYNE STILL A WANTED MAN!". NME Magazine. August 15, 2002. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- "Imprisoned Rapper Shyne Continues To See Millions". Metanoya Webb, Black College View. April 23, 2004. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "SHYNE TO BE RELEASED FROM THE PEN EARLY?!". J'More, Str8NYC. February 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Shyne Granted October Release From Prison". Jayson Rodriguez, VH1.com. August 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Shyne Granted October Release From Prison". Jayson Rodriguez, MTV.com. August 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Shyne To Be Released This Year". Anthony Springer Jr, BET.com. August 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Former Bad Boy Rapper Shyne Has Parole Hearing Today". Thomas Freeman, Yo! Raps Magazine. August 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- "Mysteries of Shyne, Regina Lasko Pictures and Layne Staley Solved". Sam Brand, PopEater.com. October 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "Rappers Rally for Shyne's Release Today". Justin Stewart, HipHopWired.com. October 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "Was Rapper Shyne Released from Prison?". Edecio Martinez , CBSNews.com. October 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "Rapper Shyne Released From Jail After 8 Years". admin, RapWeekly.com. October 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "SHYNE DENIES RECENT CONVO WITH DIDDY:". EURweb.com. October 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
- "Shyne Remains In Custody Due To Immigration Status". Jayson Rodriguez, MTV.com. October 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "Xilla Got It: Shyne Is On His Way Home". BlogXilla, Global Grind. October 9, 2009.
- "Shyne's Uncle Speaks On Pending Deportation". Danielle Harling, HipHopDX.com. October 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "Shyne Update: High-ranking uncle speaks on deportation battle, and prepares home in Belize". MissInfo.tv. October 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- "PM Dean Barrow Asks NY Governor to Pardon Shyne". Jules Vasquez, 7 News Belize. October 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "Slick Rick Pardoned By New York Governor Thanks To 'Exemplary' Record". Joseph Patel, MTV.com. May 23, 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "After Shyne's Release, What's Next?". Jayson Rodriguez, MTV.com. Oct 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "Belize PM wants pardon for rapper son 'Shyne'". Caribbean360.com. October 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
- "Rapper Shyne's Dad Asks N.Y. Governor For Pardon". The Founderon, Belizean.com. October 10, 2008. Archived from the original on October 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "New Legal Strategy for Shyne". 7 News Belize. October 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- "Shyne Turned Away By UK Immigration Officials". AllHipHop. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
- Steven J. Hprpwitz, "Shyne Reveals Collaborations With Matisyahu, No Longer Cursing In Raps", HipHop DX, July 28, 2011.