Not many rappers craft their first LPs while facing 25 years in prison. But that was the case for Shyne and his self-titled Bad Boy Records debut, which dropped September 26, 2000, after a very challenging time. Shyne Po faced two major issues during the creation of his inaugural album. First, there was the matter of the Brooklyn MC’s deep-baritone voice, which drew comparisons to the late Notorious B.I.G.’s, a fact that angered some of Big’s most faithful supporters. Then, more importantly, there was Po’s attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and criminal-possession-of-a-weapon charges and eventual trial, stemming from a shooting at Manhattan’s Club New York, where Bad Boy label head Sean “Puffy” Combs was also in attendance.
Though Shyne began coming together at Daddy’s House Studio in 1999, before the Club New York shooting (the premier single, “Bad Boyz,” was recorded first), Po recorded most of the LP after his indictment. The gritty street album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, standing strong among other top-10 rap albums released around the same time, such as Mystikal’s Let’s Get Ready, Nelly’s Country Grammar, Lil Bow Wow’s Beware of Dog and Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP.
Ten years since its release, Shyne remains a truly remarkable album. To celebrate the disc’s 10th anniversary, XXL gathered a few of the key creators to reflect on the Bad Boy classic. Ch-ch-cheaa.
Shyne: Brooklyn MC
Harve Pierre: Brooklyn executive, album A&R and Associate Executive Producer
Nashiem Myrick: Queens producer, member of Bad Boy’s Hitmen production team
EZ Elpee: Bronx producer
Mario “Yellow-Man” Winans: Detroit producer, member of Bad Boy’s Hitmen production team