Shyne’s expected release date from prison came and went Tuesday as the rapper remained in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in New York. Word of his delayed release surprised many and caused a stir about his whereabouts as conflicted reports were filed by media outlets.
“Shyne is currently in federal custody while his future immigration status is determined,” a Shyne rep told MTV News in an e-mail message.
An I.C.E. spokesman then told the New York’s Daily News on Wednesday (October 7) that Shyne was being detained for violation of U.S. immigration law.
No further explanation was given, however.
Although the former Bad Boy rapper repped Brooklyn on his tracks, Shyne was actually born in Belize, where his father is prime minister. It’s unknown as of press time if the rapper’s mother is a U.S. citizen. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Web site, a child born outside the country to a parent of American citizenship can become a citizen, but the circumstances around the law vary depending on birthday.
“Whether someone born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent or parents is a U.S. citizen depends on the law in effect when the person was born,” the information reads.
At question in this matter, it seems, is whether the MC can be deported back to his native country as a result of his violent crime.
Rap legend Slick Rick faced a similar quandary when Department of Homeland Security officials nabbed the Bronx lyricist in 2002 after a cruise-ship gig and attempted to deport him back to England, where he was born. The difference in the two rappers’ cases, though, was that Rick was released from prison and led a productive life for years that saw him put out an album, serve as a landlord and stay on the right side of the law after his debt to society was paid.
Shyne’s recent activity was just as peaceful if not very productive, due to his circumstances. The rapper was sentenced to prison in 2001 following a conviction on first-degree assault, among other lesser charges. And there was no indication he was anything but a model prisoner, as he was on track to be released this week, his mandatory release date of October 6.
In the case of Slick Rick, New York Governor David Paterson stepped in to help by pardoning the rapper’s crime, thus eradicating his criminal record. Without the mark against him, the “Children’s Story” star was free to walk. High-profile stars such as Will Smith and Chris Rock also helped petition in his favor.
Shyne’s jail stint might have come to an end, but he was still on the hook for post-release supervision . In August, a judge ruled that the rapper would have to serve two years of probation, essentially. Previously, the rapper was set to be released from prison and free to return to his life with no strings attached.
Since word of Shyne’s federal detainment, there has been speculation that the rapper will be deported by the end of the week and his family has been notified.
Oscar Michelen, a lawyer representing Shyne, wouldn’t confirm the information, only telling MTV News “[I] don’t know where that came from or if it’s true.”