The return of Shyne marks an exciting time in hip-hop.
I remember meeting the Belize-born rapper way back in 1998 or 1999, and he was a genuine cat. I was just starting my career as a journalist, and he was just getting his feet wet as an MC. As early material started to leak on mixtapes and heat up the underground (I used to love his track “Cock, Aim, Squeeze”), you had a feeling he was going to be one of the greats. The dude was undeniably nice, and he had a voice — not just his tone, but a voice, as in speaking to what’s was going on in the streets.
The day Shyne’s prison verdict came in was the same day I started working at MTV News. I’ll never forget that day. It was the last time a major news event happened concerning hip-hop and I didn’t work on it. Shyne was sentenced to 10 years in prison for two counts of assault as well as reckless endangerment and gun possession in a 1999 shooting. I was definitely depressed to hear that such a young and talented man was going to prison. Back in 2004, I was glad to have the chance to be able to go see Shyne in prison. Obviously, you’d hate to see him in that atmosphere, but it was good to hear that being away had not broken his spirit. He was still inspired to make music and exuded strength.
Since Shyne’s return home, I’ve talked to him a few times, and I have been encouraged to hear how he’s planning to come back to music and be a factor. On Friday, a record called “Messiah” mysteriously popped in my e-mail. It was the first real song I’ve heard from Shyne in years. The record stayed in heavy rotation in my office on Friday as I listened to it closely along with Rahman Dukes and Sway. “Shyne is back.”
The beat is incredibly gutter, but Shyne’s voice alone is going to shake up the Big Apple. It’s commanding and distinct. He automatically catches your attention, and there’s no trace of rust in his flow. I predict that NYC is going to be cheering for Shyne for quite some time. Swizz Beatz already told us weeks ago that he would lace Shyne’s album, and who knows who else will contribute to Shyne’s comeback? He’s still one of the most respected in the game.
Rahman Dukes: Brooklyn’s bad boy Shyne Po is back with a vengeance. It’s been more than five years since he has released new material to the masses. But rest assured, it was more than worth the wait, as fans are sure to be delighted with the explosive track “Messiah.” On the LPeezy-produced record, Po has released arguably his finest track to date.
Last year, shortly after his release, I had the opportunity to speak with Shyne on a few different occasions. During our initial conversation, the first thing I revealed was that I was looking forward to hearing new music from the Godfather. Well, that day has arrived. Shyne is carrying the torch back to BK.
What do you think of Shyne’s comeback track? Are you excited to hear more new music from the MC? Let us know in the comments!