For all we know, the reason Shyne's new music sucks balls could be because he's trying to sound like Rick Ross rather than Biggie Smalls, because Biggie's been dead for such a long time now, because it's easier to sound like Rawse than to sound like Biggie Smalls, and because Rawse is the man these days, for what it's worth. He managed to survive a beef with an admittedly weakened 50 Cent; his street cred is at an all time high, from siccing his weed carriers on DJ Vlad, and that guy from Don Diva; and he's got a new album coming out that sounds like it might be an even further descent into self-parody. I can't wait to have a listen and see how the number of references to crab meats compares to Deeper Than Rap.

That might even be why Diddy is now managing Rawse, as well as Nicki Minaj. (I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere.) He might be hoping that the sight of a 40+ Diddy kicking whatever dance moves he can muster at this point, while Rawse just kinda stands there and breathes heavily, in videos for songs from the new Rawse album + the new Diddy album, if he can talk the TIs into giving him a release date, even though he's ostensibly still the boss of his own label, will conjure thoughts of the halcyon days of Biggie and Puff in the minds of people who realize that hip-hop peaked circa '95 and has been in decline ever since, not unlike how Drake cast girls who kinda look like Amber Rose and Beyonce in his new video, to make himself seem that much more like Jay and Kanye.

This shit is getting deep. The TIs must be working with shrinks, to try to counter the effects of the recession + Internets file sharing. I knew I felt compelled to eat crab meats every time I listened to Deeper Than Rap last summer, but I thought that was because I was a sorry fat-ass. If I had a dollar for every time I made a run for the border, i.e. Taco Bell, after seeing a commercial for their latest variation on the same three or four ingredients, I'd have more money than I'm willing to admit to on the Internets. It crosses the line between amusing and damn, that's just sad and just keeps going.

But I digress.

As long as Shyne is gonna be so insincere about the reason for his current state of artistic failure, he might as well see if he can't dust off his old Biggie impression. He's been claiming that he associates his late '90s/early '00s role as Diddy's attempt to swagger jack Biggie's corpse with a time in his life in which he made a lot of bad decisions, which ultimately led him to spend upwards of a third of his life at this point in the pokey (no one's gonna argue with that), and this new rhyme style, which Ivan Rott describes as like Rawse after having been shot with a tranquilizer dart, for having been mistaken for a rhinoceros, is meant to signal the end of that chapter in his life. But obviously he hasn't really turned over a new leaf, if he's making songs in which he threatens to shoot 50 Cent. What kind of dumbass spends 10 years in the joint for shooting up the club, then starts making songs in which he threatens to shoot people? No wonder they didn't let his dumb ass back into the US.

The TIs had Shyne make a few phone calls to people they knew would be especially receptive to any message from Shyne, even if it was a sales pitch for Dianetics. They had him call Elliott Wilson, who spent enough time in semi-real journalism to realize what was going on. He didn't answer his phone (it sounds like he really did play phone tag with Shyne), but then he let loose with this op-ed - the only op-ed evar on the otherwise devoid of added value RapRadar - in which he lamented the fact that so many people are giving Shyne shit just because he doesn't have anything worthwhile to offer hip-hop at this point. What about that 10 years he spent in the joint, for shooting a woman in the face? We should feel like we owe him for that, right? Wilson probably didn't realize that the TIs would then have Shyne call eskay, who didn't have the sense to let the call go to voicemail. eskay fell for the PR fuckery hook line and sinker, thus making Elliott Wilson look that much more like a shill, regardless of whether he spoke to Shyne; he still copped a plea on Shyne's behalf.

The TIs know better than to have Shyne call me. But if they didn't, and Shyne told me that same BS he told eskay about how his shitty new rapping has to do with him being a better person than he was back when he shot up the club for no apparent reason, I'd explain to him my theory that it has more to do with him trying to sound like Rawse, then I'd ask him if he's still capable of rapping like a fake Biggie Smalls, which I think would be a better look for him than what he's been doing. (What wouldn't?) Not that I'm interested in hearing him rape Biggie's corpse any more than he already has. I'm just saying.