Shyne Signs Deal With Def Jam From Behind Bars

Rapper serving 10-year sentence for role in nightclub shooting.

Being in prison won’t stop Jamal “Shyne” Barrow from putting out a new album. The former P. Diddy protégé, who’s serving a 10-year sentence for assault, has signed a deal with Def Jam Records.

Sources told MTV News on Friday that the long-rumored deal had been struck, and according to the Los Angeles Times, it could be worth approximately $3 million for the first album. Def Jam beat out Warner Bros. Records, run by former Def Jam CEO Lyor Cohen, in a bidding war for the incarcerated artist.

In 2001 Shyne was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in a 1999 shooting at a New York nightclub (see “Shyne Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison” ). Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who signed Shyne to his Bad Boy Records label, was acquitted of any wrongdoing in the same trial.

Shyne is housed in the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. He is said to have recorded up to a dozen songs before his incarceration, and those verses, put to new beats, could constitute an album for Def Jam.

Though he is not eligible for parole until at least 2009, the rapper has retained Harvard law professor and practicing lawyer Charles Ogletree to help him obtain an early work-release discharge. Ogletree orchestrated a similar maneuver for Tupac Shakur.