Shyne says signing to Cash Money Records is still a possibility.
“That’s always a possibility,” Shyne told XXLMag.com, while in Paris raising money to build a music education resource center in Belize. “Of course I’d entertain [an offer]. I’m entertaining it right now. Baby had reached out to me when I was in the pen, when I was about to get out. He said he was into it. We just have to figure it out because I was at Def Jam at the time, so it was hard to make a formal offer.”
The former Bad Boy Records rapper is still very much trying to find his footing after serving nine years of a 10-year prison sentence from 2001 to 2009 for his participation in the 1999 Club New York shooting. Shyne says Lil Wayne tabbing him on “The Outro” off Tha Carter IV album helped breathe life back into Po’s rap career.
“I owe a lot to Wayne for putting me on that record,” said Shyne, 32. “That was a man gesture on his part, just taking me from the ashes. It took a while for me to find my voice and for me to get back in my rhythm. I’ll be forever grateful to Wayne believing in me and respecting my legacy, respecting what I stand for and putting me on that record.
“He didn’t have anything to gain from that,” Shyne added. “It’s not like I’m the hottest thing on the block right now, but a legacy is a legacy. My first two albums were classics. I honor that dude.”
That being said, although he says he’s independent and in a different mindset right now, Shyne says he could still see himself signing with the Cash Money crew.
“I’m in that Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale culture,” Shyne continued. “Not saying that wouldn’t be the case if I were to sign to Cash Money, but we would have to work those things out. YMCMB is definitely one of my affiliates, from the streets to the music, so anything they want from me they could get from me.
“But right now, I’m an entrepreneur,” he added. “When L.A. Reid left Def Jam, I left Def Jam. I’m on my own right now. It got to make sense. Ain’t nothing signed on the line right now.”
Aside from Cash Money, Shyne says the only other people he’d be interested in signing with is Jay-Z or Kanye West.
“Jay actually came to see me on Rikers Island,” Shyne said. “When I got out, a lot of people don’t know that he was the one that negotiated my deal to go to Universal Music Group. He actually put a deal together with Jimmy Iovine. Jay’s always been supportive to me.
“I like Kanye,” he added. “Kanye is interesting too because I like his honesty and ability to be who he is and not being able to conform.”
Shyne is currently in Paris, helping to raise money in hopes to erect music education resource centers in countries and cities such as Belize, Brooklyn and Ethiopia.
“Everywhere there’s poor kids with people banging,” Shyne said, “I want to provide.” —Mark Lelinwalla