Shyne: Def Jam’s Dilemma

Not many things make you feel better in life than a success story. You see a person suffer through the lowest of lows only to scratch and claw their way back to the pinnacle of their profession. It’s a great sight and even better feeling. Moses Michael Levy, better known as “Shyne,” has the chance to be one of those stories. Po’s story is something we’re all familiar with. A budding rap career cut short due to a shooting incident late last decade. Eventually to spend damn near a decade in the clink only to find out you’re not even allowed in America. Unpredictable is an understatement.

News of Shyne’s return to Def Jam has since been announced and we even were afforded his first musical offering as a free man on DJ Khaled’s “All My Life” also featuring Mavado. The record garnered more criticism than acclaim with the biggest knock being Shyne’s verse. With over eight years to sit and wait, it’s safe to say everyone had their own image of Shyne’s first song out the box. This probably wasn’t it. His verse was close to inaudible and the overall feel of the song didn’t connect with many listeners. Sorry Khalid this wasn’t the best.

You see, this is where the A&R elite at the house Russell built have to earn their paychecks. With the black eye that was the marketing for his 2004 effort, Godfather Buried Alive,still somewhat fresh on everyone’s mind, planning Shyne’s course of attack over these next few months is critical. Have some strategically planned features, media runs and projects lined up. An official mixtape to build hype for the album maybe? Whatever it is those A&R’s draw up, something has to be done (if it hasn’t already).

A few good decisions mixed with a few good songs and the former Bad Boy could very well find himself in the mix once more. For a guy who has paid his debt to society, hopefully his future moves yield positive results. But a year from now when we’re looking at Shyne’s return in retrospect, it ultimately boils down to those two key words: GOOD. DECISIONS.

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  • b-ease

    You were much too kind regarding Shyne’s verse on the Khaled track. The only thing to call it is godawful. This might be the biggest contract mistake in Def Jam’s history (Complex actually has an article up today kind of on the same note).

    I was a fan of Shyne’s first LP, highly underrated. But after Godfather Buried Alive and the now discarded track from Khaled’s album, I can’t say with confidence that dude still has it.

  • capcobra

    shyne better get himself a book deal.a movie deal and a reality show asap..because khaled killed him already with that bullshit ass leak…i know khaled listened to it before he leaked it too…smh.

  • yoprince

    whew! your insight is blowing my mind.

    ‘good decisions mixed with a few good songs’.. so savvy, so astute.. how long did it take you to come up with that?

    • haah


  • Justice4All

    Ha-about a nano second. wow. Let me takeover the blogging, because “A few good decisions mixed with a few good songs and the former Bad Boy could very well find himself in the mix once more. For a guy who has paid his debt to society, hopefully his future moves yield positive results. But a year from now when we’re looking at Shyne’s return in retrospect, it ultimately boils down to those two key words: GOOD. DECISIONS.” is wack-how about why in Gods name do you spend almost a decade in the stall and come out rapping like MC mumbles? Must have been to much sodomy going on-on the island for one man to stomach. I know that can take the motivation and the will to even with a bad lisp talk about anything other than “gimmie yo cornbread”!nightmares. I feel sorry for dude, it was all good just 10 years ago. He went from being shyne po, to being shyne lo. Dude is now talking at inaudible levels to mask his sheer fear of rehashing his horrible butt invasions in the steel trap. You see, blogging should take on a life of his own, without exposing the fact that you are new to the game.


  • DV8


    Strike 2

    step it up and tell us something we dont already know or atleast make us laugh or something.

    BTW, isnt Shyne still deported? how is DefJam going to market him? How is he going to promote himself? How are they going to give Shyne a mil and he doesnt even have a buzz? Im pretty sure duke skills have fallen off. Which isnt that hard to do considering he wasnt that nice in the first place.

  • Jamal7Mile

    I haven’t heard the track yet but I’ve heard a lot of fans were disappointed. The same thing happened with “We Are The World – 2010.” Oh well.

    I was wondering how Def Jam signed him too if he’s not allowed in the States. I’ve seen other people on other sites joking that he signed to ISLAND Def Jam. Ha!

  • NotoriousAGC

    karen civil, i like your smile, but how bout u post your booty next to your headlines XD :D

  • Ashim

    No idea why y’all goin so hard @ Karen… Fuck she do to y’all? What, y’all want a guest blogger spot at XXL? You can get one, its easy. Go do something important and maybe XXL will think people give a fuck about your opinions…

    Anyway, I don’t really care that much about Shyne Po, kid was an overrated rapper when he was hot, now he’s just a guy with BS ‘street cred’ which, if this was rap 10 years ago would’ve been invaluable. Nowadays, we’ve got Undercover Ross so… (no shots, I enjoy Ross’s music, so I could give a fuck what job he had in the 90s) Shyne’s first album was pretty good, but not for nothin if you’re being honest with yourself Bad Boy didn’t put out a lot of duds around that time. Their musical thinktank was pretty damn strong… I remember Black Rob and Dep’s albums being pretty good. Anyway, the guy has never been a talent to me… Never got the public’s fashoination with the dumb fuck. Or all the sympathy he recieved after having to go to jail for the harmless little act of shooting someone in the face.

    So… Good luck to him in life, enjoy your freedom kid. Be it free in South America or free in NY, free free. But musically? Fuck’em.



  • TheThizzFaceDon

    if this is how Mr. Po comin out the gate then the nigga needs to hang it up right now. apparently his genius A&R told him to spit like a cross between Ross and 50 with a touch of ‘tard/gucci, except he fucked up the actual rapping part and proceeded to sound he had all of the aforementioned artists’ noodles in his mushmouth all at one time [mega II]. either he forgot how to write a verse or this is his version of LCD rap. cant support you atm shyne.

  • frogg

    yall need to ease up on dude. Everybody was expectin him to come out like Pac did with Ambitions, or somethin. Difference is Pac didnt do much time, and was a mad man bent on revenge who just signed the worst/best contract he could. Shyne got fucked. he did the full 10. 10 years is a long ass tome, especially considering he was a young buck when the club shooting happened. He’s probably gonna need a few dozen verses to get back into it. Or, maybe I’m wrong and he’s a lost cause. Everybody that ever signed with badboy ended up fucked the fuck up in some way. I can’t think of anybody that didnt.

  • bullets

    the only reason def jam signed this nigga is because of the status of the industry they don’t sell music anymore they sell images and personality’s shyne just got out of jail with a story that was well publicized non of these new niggas are nice minus 2 or 3 dudes and some vets but over all all the music is trash so I can see why they would sign shyne without hearing what he sounds like…it’s works like this gucci mane is a blood in small towns the best rappers are local neighborhood nigas especially down south so weather there actually talented or not is of no concern lets say you get a bunch of your bloods and some other nigas you fuk wit to buy your shit or get some hits online the industry see’s 1million hits, no matter what the music sounds like they see money, abracadabra!!! another wack rapper

  • Kia

    I guess all his anger and frustration did not reflect in his music…It did not anger him enough to want to come out and show us the listeners who critique everything to want to do his best…or maybe he just hooked up with the wrong people…Well with this bad news of his career here is something to brighten our days…check out my link…


  • I KNOW YOU!!

    Yall know damn well, negroes aint supporting rap music. If you think hardcore west indian flava will work again, increase the amount of crack in the pipe and take another Whitney. He will be packaged with Rihanna on some R&B crossover pop stuff. Rihanna might be on his first Def Jam single.

  • I KNOW YOU!!

    Rihanna and Shyne might be hiphop’s “it” couple this year. He’s a Bad boy (which she prefers) and his father s a Prime Minister of an island nation (she is also from one of those). What more do you need a crystal ball?

  • Boogie The Don

    Perfect. In the campaign against the transatlantic slave trade Quakers held it down, but really who picks beats like that? *tuah* Guess only those who write in hieroglyphs. “Its a cold world baby boy, f it I’m colder/” -Shyne


    I write rhymes in hieroglyphs so nggaz can’t bite it/
    now look me in my eyes and tell me you can write it/
    I put shame to ghostwriters, they slackin’ on they hyphens/
    Turn lames to slow pokes, they used to be the hypest/
    gotta rep you can’t rely on, might as well die on/
    I’m the modern day clash between Joey and Saigon/
    Young Hoffa/
    211 shit/
    STEEL is the motto/
    The Don/
    Gotti shit/
    talk more than Khaled shit/
    2 IDs whattup/

    -Loud Vision 2011

  • Michael Patterson

    “NO MOre Secrets” by Michael Patterson it a fictional thriller currently being read by Josh Howard from the Dallas Mavs. Show your support

  • Devi Gargon

    Im new to the Civil writing style,but the last two paragraphs….it didnt sum things up, or ask a question, or leave a though. Ill give it time, but I had to be honest.

    Second, I dont see what Shyne is going to do in 2010. He was a Biggie replacement, thats it.

    Third, for all he did for Puff and Bad Boy, he should have a contract with them for life,…that’s fucked up. Hope he got a settlement from Mr. Combs.

  • Anonymous

    Shyne still dat nigga doe ,ya cant knock it. He aint been on da mic in years so he still gotta develop dat old flow dat made him wat he is nahmean ya cant blaim da nigga ,it happenz ta all rapperz at one point But fucck all dat hatin shit …SHYNE still a legend!!