Deported Belizean rapper Shyne recently reflected on his self-titled debut album and why Grammy-winning singer Usher was a guest feature he missed out on.
“I wanted Usher on that record. I had a whole different hook idea for that record. But what happen was when Harve [Pierre] got Barrington Levy to sing on the ‘Bad Boyz’ sh*t I guess he freestyled and threw him on that and muthaf*ckas loved it. And when muthaf*ckas get into something it’s hard to be like, ‘But hold on…’ It wasn’t a matter of taking [Barrington] off [of the record], it was a matter of, Yo, everybody saying this sh*t is crazy, I’m on my coconut sh*t anyway, so whatever we can ‘G’ with it,” the rapper told XXl mag.
Despite being involved in Diddy‘s New York City nightclub shooting in December 1999, Shyne’s debut still managed to hit shelves in the fall.
Just two weeks after the shooting incident, the Los Angeles Times reported that BMG, the company that owned Bad Boy at the time, was considering shelving Shyne’s forthcoming debut album — and perhaps even severing ties with Bad Boy altogether. Well, that didn’t happen as commercial interests trumped ethical considerations. BMG indeed retained its very lucrative ties to Bad Boy, and Shyne’s debut album did finally surface on September 26, 2000. The shooting scandal certainly helped garner interest in the release, and the self-titled album peaked at number five on Billboard’s album chart. It wasn’t a bona fide success, however. Neither of its singles — “Bad Boyz” and “That’s Gangsta” — was an especially big hit despite the media-circus publicity and a strong marketing push on behalf of BMG, and the album died a quick, quiet commercial death. And that was pretty much the end of Shyne as far as most were concerned — he was locked away in Clinton Correctional Facility, and his fan base was minimal and forgetful.
Check out Shyne and Reggae Singer Barrington Levy Video for their collaboration “Bonnie & Shine.”