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Page 1

 "You could die in here. They probably won't find your body for a couple days." ...

Page 2

 "Somebody pulled out a .40 caliber and I had to pull mine out or I was gonna die." ...

Page 3

 Shyne accuses P. Diddy of betrayal and says his lawyers didn't do their jobs ...

Page 4

 50 Cent feels the incarcerated rapper's wrath when Shyne sets the 'Record' straight ...

Shyne and his friends back in the day

Complete coverage: Diddy and Shyne on trial

Shyne: Quiet Storm

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— by Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by John Norris

Driving up Interstate 87, it takes about seven hours to travel from New York City to Dannemora, home of the Clinton Correctional Facility. From the outside, the walls look exactly how you imagine prison walls to look — the paint is chipping, but they appear sturdy enough to stop a tank.

Dannemora's frigid winter temperatures have earned Clinton the nickname "Little Siberia." Snow piles up so deep on its 100 acres that prisoners bobsled and ski as part of their recreational activities. But this is no country club jail. This is harsh life, where inmates face the most abrasive of realities inside. Cross the wrong person and you might get beat into oblivion, or your face could be slashed by a pair of razorblades taped together. Or you could end up like the guy who, legend has it, was tossed on top of a table saw in shop class.

  Visiting Shyne behind bars
"You die in here, you know," says Clinton's current most famous resident, 25-year-old Jamal "Shyne" Barrow. "Just like you could die on the [outside], you could die in here. They probably won't find your body for a couple days. This is just like the [outside], even worse. You got people that ain't going home ever, so their life is over. Being here is like being dead. And when you've got a dude who's got life, he don't care. He'll rip your heart out."

In the midst of all this, Shyne's been able to keep his head straight, but not because of special treatment given to the latest rap star to be confined in Clinton (Ol' Dirty Bastard and Tupac have also served there). In fact, he says he doesn't want to be treated like a celebrity. Never mind the fact that despite a three-year absence from the scene, artists and CEOs such as Dr. Dre, Lyor Cohen, Nelly and Jay-Z have been trying to sign him. Never mind the fact that Def Jam thought so highly of him, they shelled out a reported $10 million to house his imprint, Gangland Records, under their umbrella. Never mind the fact that his Gangland debut and first album in five years, August 10's Godfather Buried Alive is one of the most anticipated albums of 2004. Never mind there are no less than four current mixtapes with his face on the cover, or that artists such as Fat Joe and Juelz Santana have been shouting his name out on records since his incarceration began. He feels like he's just plain old 01-A-3886, but he prefers to be referred to by his nickname, Po.

  "Don't even call me Shyne. My name is Po."
"The whole 'Shyne' thing, I have nothing to do with that," he explains in a small visiting room, wearing forest green jail pants and a matching long-sleeve polo shirt. "I just detach myself from all those things. I had to set some of my comrades straight, like, 'Don't even call me Shyne. My name is Po.' I walk around like I got to handle what I got to handle, and that's that. There hasn't been that much to handle, so I've been able to fly under the radar. This is not anything to take for granted and think that you're gonna come here, you're gonna get a record deal or you're gonna get a joint venture. You understand? That's not what I was thinking about. I was thinking about, 'Don't let me catch a new charge up in here, man.' And there's been plenty of times I came real close, but I was blessed."

From the outside looking in, it would seem that Shyne's life has been anything but blessed. His father, a government official in Belize, never claimed him. His mother moved to Brooklyn when Shyne was but a youth, and her son turned to crime as a teenager, bouncing in and out of juvenile detention centers. At 15 he was shot while hustling, and he's been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder from the ordeal.

  "Bad Boyz"
live from Direct Effect
(Bad Boy)
At 19 Shyne began to put the street life aside and gravitate toward hip-hop. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his high school classmate Inga Marchand, a.k.a. Foxy Brown, who had risen from the same environment to become one of the biggest names in hip-hop.

"Shyne would call and rap for hours. This was before he knew about bars or where to stop," recalls Foxy, who's known Shyne since they were 13. While Foxy was wreaking havoc on the airwaves in the late '90s, her manager, Don Pooh, took Shyne under his wing. "One night he rhymed for 45 minutes straight. I'm in the background like, 'Yeah, yeah!' Pooh put the phone on mute like, 'Stop gassing him, he's already bananas. What is wrong with you? If he hears [the excitement] from you and you're a million-seller, he's gonna go crazy.' I told Shyne, 'You got crazy with your rhymes.' Ever since, he's been a beast."

Next: 'Somebody pulled out a .40 caliber and I had to pull mine out or I was gonna die.' ...
Photo: Def Jam

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  "For The Record"
Godfather Buried Alive
(Gangland/Def Jam)

  "Bad Boyz"
(Bad Boy)

  "Bad Boyz" live from Direct Effect
(Bad Boy)