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Shyne & Young Jeezy Grace XXL’s New Cover [With Video]

You can’t get any realer than this! Shyne and Young Jeezy will both grace dual covers of XXL’s upcoming The Real Street Issue, hitting newsstands nationwide on August 10.

For the September issue, which also marks the magazine’s 13th anniversary, Editor-in-Chief, Vanessa Satten traveled to Belize for an exclusive one-on-one interview with Shyne Po. [Watch on page two] During their candid sit-down, which will run as a three part series over the next three issues, the former Bad Boy rapper reflected on his recently wrapped nine-year jail bid, returning to Belize, his return to hip-hip, his devotion to Judaism and his relationship with Sean “Diddy” Combs, his former boss and co-defendant in Shyne’s criminal trial, which stemmed from a shooting at Manhattan’s Club N.Y. in 1999.

“I don’t know whether he was nervous, afraid,” Shyne says of Puffy. “When you’re afraid and you’re emotional, that’s a different survival tactic. Those are the people that do anything, regardless of character and integrity, to preserve and protect themselves, regardless of who they hurt. I guess maybe that was the situation. Never been in a situation like that, where he facing years, and he got hundreds of millions and all that shit at stake. But where I’m from, doesn’t matter. You lose everything for your comrade. Again, if you’re in battle, I’ll catch a bullet, too. It ain’t like, Yo, he’s dead. Don’t make no sense for me to die, too. Nah, I’ma die, too! So you hope or you take for granted that all men are the same. But I know all men are not.”

“I looked at bein’ in the pen for 10 joints as my opportunity to concentrate, to get things in perspective. And I never let it devastate me, although it was devastating, because I never thought I was gonna be in jail for 10 years. I thought I was gon’ make a bail. I thought I was gon’ get my shit reversed. I’m terribly optimistic.”

“I always knew it was a possibility I might be deported. I had lawyers, and I had people with serious relationships working to get me a fuckin’ opportunity to continue my life in the place that raised me and developed me and grew me, after payin’ my debt, ya dig?”

In XXL’s other cover with Young Jeezy, Da Snowman explains the long delay behind his new album, TM 103, which now has a release date of September 28.

“I’m doin’ what any nigga would do on his fourth album. I’m gettin’ it together. I’m not just gon’ give you anything, to be hot and relevant. That don’t make sense. That’s like telling a muthafucka anything just to get it done. I’ma be straight up with you, so when you walk away, even if you ain’t satisfied, I kept it real. I kept it 100. And that’s the way I feel. I wouldn’t even call it the top of my game. I’m just really figuring out the music shit.”

In addition to stories with Shyne and Jeezy, XXL marked the mag’s 13th anniversary by rounding up 13 of the most hardcore MCs to discuss rap’s current lack of authenticity in hip-hop and investigate the current status of beef and battling in rap. Also there are special tributes to the 10th anniversary of Shyne’s self-titled debut and the fifth anniversary of Young Jeezy’s debut album Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101.

Be sure to pick up the XXL’s September issue on August 10. —XXL Staff

Turn to page two to view the covers and footage of Shyne in Belize.

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