Feature / Hip Hop

Shyne Likens His Political Addresses To Rap Bars

Not many who have fallen from grace and faced the full brunt of the law have a story of redemption quite as unique as former rapper Shyne.

In what surely is a movie director’s dream, Shyne’s fall out of the limelight, after he found fame at Bad Boy Records, as a rapper, to his subsequent incarceration at Clinton Correctional Facility and eventual rise as a member of Belize House of Representatives is truly awe-inspiring.

He served almost 10 years at the corrections facility following the Manhattan nightclub shooting involving Diddy and then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez in 1999. He was sentenced in 2001.

The former rapper, who has since changed his name to Moses Levi, began his transformation following his release from behind bars. One of the first things that he did was to become an Orthodox Jew. This helped him maintain his focus on new goals, and recently he’s seen the fruit of that labor as he’s now a successful politician with a seat in the Belizean House of Representatives.

The 42-year-old recently shared more about his journey and his intentions for his future and the future of his country in a recent interview with HipHopDX.

He revealed that he’s not quite done rapping as he is hoping to record some new tracks for an upcoming biopic about his life. That’s probably as far as his musical comeback will go, however, as he added that if fans really want to hear his flow, they should tune in to what he has to say in his native House of Representatives. Those speeches can be found on his Instagram page, he continued.

“You’d almost think that I was performing in the studio when you hear me. It’s a lot of 16s and a lot of hits when you hear me talking about policy and legislation in the House of Representatives. Oration is an art,” he added.

His passion for politics and the improvement of his home is nothing new, and just last year, he explained it more to MSNBC anchor Ari Melber. During that interview, he stressed that freedom is a gift, one that a lot of Americans have and should appreciate.

Levi added that this is one of the many shared principles between Americans and the people of Belize. His dream is to provide a bridge between Belize and the United States. One of the ways he hoped to achieve this dream was by showing Americans how fortunate they are by taking them to Belize so they could see how some Belizeans are living.

“And I want to take the Belizeans to the United States state of mind so they could see an Ari Melber who is free to be a Hip Hop enthusiast and a political commentator and not miss a beat and people love it. He’s the first one. Or maybe there’s others, but he’s the most famous one that has done that type of hybrid,” he added at the time.

This is just one of the many ways he hopes to inspire the youth of Belize. His main focus is to help them learn how to imagine new things and to push boundaries as he’s so expertly done.

The struggle that he faces is that many of the youth in Belize are not thinking this way. A problem that doesn’t fall squarely on the shoulders of the youth but on the wider society as well he went on to say.

His aspiration is to blaze that type of trail, and he believes “that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

“They call me a convict, they call me a deportee, they call me criminal, that I shouldn’t be in the House of Representatives — and I’ve shattered those more in the last week than any foreign minister in the history of Belize,” he added.

Shyne’s return to the U.S. was orchestrated by his former boss Diddy who helped him secure a visa to return last month for the first time in 12 years. His visit is part of an effort to improve relations between the U.S. and Belize.

Undoubtedly, his story is inspirational, and he hopes that others will resonate with it.

“I hope everyone that sees all that’s happening for me, they’re inspired because all of us have what I have inside them. You mostly just got to find it. And I guarantee that they can find it and they can have their happiness and redemption and their vindication,” he said.