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Shyne, Rebuilding Belize & His Relationship With His Father

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What do you think you can do for Belize?

I hope that I can make entertainment that will have a mass appeal, allowing me to generate the resources where I could build better housing, build up the infrastructure, get businessmen to come down and invest, build hotels, build restaurants, just totally develop the country. Probably take like maybe a couple billion dollars to really get it started. And success is magnetic, so if I’m touring all across the world and my shit is jumpin’, then muthafuckas gon’ want to be a part of that Shyne experience. And part of that Shyne experience is being in Belize. And that’s what I hope I can do. The exposure, attracting the tourism, but more so being an attraction—being a national treasure. And through my relationships in business and the different billionaire dudes I know, getting them to see that we can make this a Central-American Dubai and that there’s more jobs for everybody, there’s better education for everybody—just a total overhaul of the country and industrializing it and modernizing it.

Your father is currently Prime Minister of Belize. Is politics something that appeals to you?

I’m more of a behind-the-scenes dude. I wouldn’t mind providing the resources and the assistance to make sure the right muthafucka was in power to do the right thing. But I would never personally want to be the Prime Minister. That’s my grandmother and them. They came up fighting for the people… My great grandfather was like the district commissioner so he ran Belize for the British. My grandfather had his own drug store. My pops and my uncle have their own law firms. My pops is the CEO of the country now, he’s the prime minister. My uncle is a supreme court justice, chief appellate court justice. So I’m from a family of muthafuckas that are leaders. God shows them shit that they don’t show everybody else. My uncle on my mom’s side is a handicapped dude, that’s one of the most powerful politicians in the country.

What’s your relationship with your father like now? And what was it like before your bid and during it?

We cool. I can definitely say we got a better relationship than we ever had. But that was a process that was years in the making. I would say a lifetime in the making, ya dig? But more practically speaking, over the last 10 years before I went to the pen. Maybe the last 15 years, you would say. Because before I went to the pen, when I got shot, there was a line of communication goin’ on there. But nothing significant, ’cause as a young muthafucka, you still hate the world. You know whatever, he got his issues. He’ll admit he wasn’t perfect and had shit he had to figure out. But you know, there was a beginning there. Whereas before, I just wasn’t fuckin’ with him at all. Fuck him. But there was a beginning there. I remember one time he might have visited. I think it was in 1997, he visited my little brother, his son, and his daughter and shit. And I was on my shit, “Yeah, man I’m ’bout to do this record deal. I’m ’bout to sign here.” Then I actually did it. And when I did it, I came to Belize with the fuckin’ Rolly and the diamonds and shit. Stayed in the big hotel and rented a car and burnt the bitch down. So I think muthafuckas thought I was sellin’ drugs. I was known in the music circles in New York for signing to Bad Boy, but globally, ain’t nobody know who the fuck Shyne was. And then the record came out, “Bad Boys” came out, video and shit. Full mainstream shit. Then he reached out and said he was happy for me. And I was the type of dude, I had already started talkin’. It wasn’t no father-son shit, I’m not the type of dude to show my ass. I’m the type of dude to be like, “Thank you,” and I’m happy where I’m at in my life, grateful with God. I’m not on no keeping-score type shit. So the relationship continued there. —Vanessa Satten

To read the rest of this feature, be sure to pick up the October issue of XXL, which is on newsstands now!!

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