Sunday, November 8, 2009

31 years ago a Belizean boy was born. His name was Jamal Michael Barrow and no one could predict how crazy his life would turn out to be. At the age of 13 he immigrated to the USA, where he got familiar with hip-hop culture and gang banging. In 1998 Jamal “Shyne” Barrow was discovered by Clark Kent in a barbershop. Shyne’s unique voice and flow impressed the producer and Shyne was introduced to Bad Boy Ent. The rapper appeared on a few tracks and was about to release his debut album. But life had something totally different for Shyne in store. On December 27, 1999 Jamal Barrow was involved in a high-profile incident at a Manhattan club which left three people injured and the 21-year-old rapper facing charges of attempted murder, assault, and reckless endangerment. On June 1, 2001, Shyne was sentenced to ten years in prison.

However, Jamal managed to release 2 albums: “Shyne” (2000) & “Godfather Buried Alive” (2004). Living according to the street code, his gangsta music, and his charisma gained him l.o.v.e. & r.e.s.p.e.c.t. among hip-hop fans and criminals. So even though Bad Boy didn’t really support the debut album, it sold moderately well, and eventually went Platinum. Unlike the debut self-titled “Shyne”, his second album “Godfather Buried Alive” had a lot more guest artists and famous producers on it, but it went only Gold. Anyway, the both studio albums revealed young man's talent and gained him loyal fan-base. 

Having served over nine years of a ten year sentence, Shyne was released from jail and on Wednesday October 28, 2009 he was deported to Belize. Some people would be broken & defeated after all that drama…but not Jamal Michael Barrow. He proved to be a stand up type. Serving his time, Shyne got closer to God and decided to change his name of Jamal Michael Barrow to Moses Michael Leviy. Moses revised his lifetime experience and built a character to become a better person. 

On Monday, Nov. 2nd, the Belizean rapper held a press conference at his former high school, Wesley College in Belize City; where he talked about his enlightenment and future plans.

"In life, you are what you are and this is what I am. I don't want to be like Michael Jordan. I want to be like Moses or King David or King Solomon. Those are the guys I aspire to be like. I didn't want to be like the kingpin on my block; I wanted to be like the guy who parted the sea, that's why I chose that name."

"I came up on the streets with guys that gangbanged and were into criminal activity, and those tools never worked. Those tools, you either end up spending the rest of your life in prison or sleeping in a grave. But with the tools that you are getting here as far as education is concerned, that is the ultimate tool and with that tool you can transcend any situation because I am just like you, you dig. I grew up on Curassow Street. When I was coming up we didn't even have toilets. But one of the things my Uncle Finnegan and my father, Prime Minister Barrow, implored upon me was education, education, education, education."

"Look what gangster roll got me. Look where it led me. And I am not telling you what to do because I am not a preacher and I am not everybody's father, but I am exhibit A of what's going to happen if you don't stay in Wesley College, you dig? If you don't go to that sixth form, if you don't try to go to the university you're going to spend the rest of your life in the cooker or you're going to be in the grave. That is what this is about."

Shyne also revealed he's planning to return to music and will not censor his message. "I make music about life. One of the greatest musicians was Bob Marley. There was nothing misogynistic about him. But his music, he talked about some harsh realities some time. He was tough. I would like to make that type of contribution, that kind of Marvin Gaye contribution, you dig? But at the same time we curse, at the same time life is violent, life is troublesome sometimes — so don't expect my music to be sanitized. I am just going to talk about what's going on in the world."

If Robert Kelly is right (& I do Believe that he is right), then we are witnessing birth of a new international leader who will become one of the brightest stars on hip-hop scene. In the words of Malcolm X, “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time”. And I’m sure that Moses learned his lessons well. 

Currently, Shyne continues to fight for residency in the United States.

What more can I say? Oh, yea…HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOSES!! WE LOVE YOU!!

I used 2 ♥ him

Common used to love H.E.R. & I used to love H.I.M. (Hip-hop Is My Muse) ... but true love never dies ... this is my L.O.V.E. S.T.O.R.Y.


About Me

They call me Janus cuz I’m a little bit of every opposition. I’m quiet & loud, happy & sad, cocky and shy, rough & ladylike… but most of all I’m hip-hop. I started this blog to share my thoughts and ideas with the world, so feel free to leave your comments and to holla at me. Welcome to my world! Follow me on Twitter