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 News Archive: Shyne

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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As Shyne developed his skills, a bidding war for his services ensued, with most of the major labels involved. Shyne eventually signed with Bad Boy. At the time, with the Notorious B.I.G. gone, Mase was Puff Daddy's number one artist.

"Me and Shyne, from the [very beginning], people tried to put us against each other," remembers Mase, "but then when we met each other he was real cool. I used to go with him to Brooklyn and he would come with me to Manhattan. That's where he got the name 'Shyne Po' from. Everybody was looking at us like me being like Rich Porter and him reminding them of Alpo."

Drawing comparisons to Alpo (one of Harlem's most notorious drug dealers) was an honor to Shyne, but then people started drawing parallels between the upstart and Biggie, arguably hip-hop's greatest MC ever. Shyne started feeling the heat. Raw and in need of learning the ways of the studio, he was benched by Puff.

Complete coverage: Diddy and Shyne on trial
True talent can never be suffocated, though. Almost all of the material from his early sessions leaked to the mixtape circuit and people took notice. Once he shook the stigma of sounding like Biggie, he had a following big enough to make Bad Boy feel the urgency of planning his self-titled debut. But just as Shyne's popularity was taking off, he and Puffy were involved in the infamous December 1999 Club New York shooting.

Shyne maintains that he shot his gun in the air in self-defense.

"I'm a regular guy, man," he says. "I'm not tougher than nobody. I'm not better than nobody. I know real killers. I know people that really snatch bodies. I'm not that. I just did what I had to do. Somebody pulled out a .40 caliber and I had to pull mine out or I was gonna die."

During his trial, Shyne continued to work on material while hoping for the best.

"He would go to the studio right after [each court appearance]," Foxy remembers. "I always had a very tenacious attitude and very meticulous approach to my business, and so does Shyne. I would be like, 'How the hell are you not crumbling during this trial? How are you working? He was like, 'Yo, it could be over for me tomorrow. If that verdict comes back guilty, I need to have an arsenal.' "

Shyne's mug shot
The young star's hopes were not to be. He was convicted on two counts of reckless assault, reckless endangerment and gun possession. He was sentenced to 10 years and sent away before he could realize his full potential on the mic or as a man.

"When I came through these gates, I said, 'Why? Was I doing something wrong? Was I not supposed to be a rapper? Was I supposed to do something else?' The first couple of weeks, maybe months, there was the 'Why?' " Shyne says. "I'm a comrade that's been going through things my whole life, so it was never overwhelming, but it was just the 'Why?' It is not like I was a bad dude or I was trying to be a bad dude. I thought I had already turned that around. I was trying to go to the studio, let my little pen go off and that was it.

"I was just about my music, so when it happened, I was just like, 'Why is this happening?' I was praying every day for the last seven years. [Before I came to jail] I was fasting 48 hours a week. I was abstinent from the day I got my bail up until the album came out. So when I'm living like that and this still happens to me, it's like, 'Why you bring me here for, [God]? What do I got to learn?' "

It took Shyne some time, but he says he's learned his greatest lesson and experienced his greatest change, all by just letting go.

"I'm Hebrew, so I don't use the phone on the Fridays or Saturday nights," he says. "I'm not watching TV, not listening to what's happening out there. We are curious creatures by nature, so for me to suppress that, it's the greatest change."

"I've totally detached myself from all material things. ... My mom hasn't seen me in four years."
More specifically, Shyne says he does read the newspaper, but he's shunned such things as listening to contemporary hip-hop, and he will not see visitors unless it regards promoting Godfather Buried Alive or his pending appeal. Music and getting out of jail are his sole priorities.

"I've totally detached myself from all material things, you dig? My mom hasn't seen me in four years," he reveals. "She wants to come see me, but this ain't that. What this is to the world, it ain't that to me. I'm not here for nobody to hold my hand, and I'm not here to be regular. I'm here to function on a plane that's unparalleled. That means no normal interactions, 'cause I'm not here for that. This is real extreme, so you have to go extreme. [I told myself,] 'Anything that's happening out there is not your concern. What you need to do is to go within yourself and discover all the brilliance that's there,' and that's what I've been doing."

Next: Shyne accuses P. Diddy of betrayal and says his lawyers didn't do their jobs ...
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Photo: MTV News

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