Shawn Pen Speaks About The Quad Studios Attack On Tupac, His History With Bad Boy And Roc-A-Fella Records

Exclusive: The artist formerly known as Little Shawn shares for the first time his knowledge of the '94 attack on Tupac, and explains his ties to Jimmy Henchman and Haitian Jack.

It’s a well-worn cliché, but when attempting to summarize the life and times of Little Shawn the saying “never judge a book by its cover” immediately leaps to mind.   

As a then teenager, Shawn formerly began his career in 1987 with his Howie Tee produced reinterpretation of The Jacksons’ “Heartbreak Hotel” for then Hip Hop haven, (and home to Howie’s star spitter, Chubb Rock), Select Records. The young Brooklynite continued cranking out mostly carefree fare for the females on his sole full-length release in 1992, the Howie Tee helmed The Voice In The Mirror. With major-label backing courtesy of Capitol Records, the album’s salacious lead single, “Hickeys On Your Chest,” became a staple of early ‘90s Rap video shows. Shawn’s streak of successful singles lasted into the mid-‘90s with his first, and last, release for Uptown Records, “Dom Perignon.” But a careful inspection of the lyrics to that seemingly innocent party starter revealed that one of the ‘90s most “fun” artists was actually living a much different life out of the booth than the good-time vibes of his songs would suggest.   

Little Shawn’s other life began being exposed to the Hip Hop masses in the early morning hours of November 30, 1994, after Shawn’s manager, Jimmy “Henchman” Rosemond (also known then as “Booker”), arranged to have Tupac Shakur come to the Quad Studios in midtown Manhattan to record a song with his client. Before Tupac could make his way up the building’s elevator to that session he was robbed at gunpoint and reportedly shot multiple times. 17 years later, both Jimmy Henchman and Little Shawn’s names have remained synonymous with what many believe was a setup orchestrated by another one of Shawn’s affiliates, Jacques “Haitian Jack” Agnant, as punishment for Tupac’s talking to the media about Agnant prior to the trial of the two for sexual assault.

That infamous incident, followed by a five-year federal incarceration of Shawn for drug trafficking from 1998 to 2003, forever altered the image of a fun-loving, girl-chasing rapper into that of a shadowy figure.

Little Shawn, now known as Shawn Pen [@ShawnPen1], recently decided to do something he rarely does, and come out of the shadows to tell his jaw-dropping story to the public. Speaking exclusively with HipHopDX, the street-certified scribe that 50 Cent has acknowledged looking up to candidly discussed everything from ghostwriting for one of the preeminent emcees of the New Jack Swing era, to the role he played in Diddy’s decision to sign The Notorious B.I.G. (and how Biggie paid Shawn back for that helping hand via his debut single), to the role he played in Jay-Z being able to take his career beyond the courtyard of Marcy Projects (and how Hov had to be cursed into a career). Before concluding his conversation with DX by recalling his brotherly bond with a recently lost legend, the man who can claim that “I’m the one that brought Jimmy Henchman in the game” revealed for the first time what he knows of the circumstances surrounding the nearly two-decade old incident that’s still dominating Hip Hop headlines in 2011.   

HipHopDX: I’m old enough to remember when Little Shawn’s “Hickeys On Your Chest” video was all over Rap City, but I never knew about the uncensored version of that video until today. Where were you planning to have that titties-out version shown back before the Internet?     
Shawn Pen: Let me tell you [about that video]. There was a old, horny dude working for Capitol Records at the time, and he was the video coordinator. So, we did the video, and afterwards he was like, “Yo, man, I wanna clear the set.” So I was like, “For what?” And he was like, “I got some German strippers, man, and we gonna shoot a X-rated version.” And, you know, I wasn’t really into strippers and stuff like that – I’m really still not – so I’m looking at him like [he’s crazy]. And then I had a bunch of gangsters there, Jamaicans, and they ain’t really wit’ that either. And these dudes, like right now they doing like life – up to four life terms right now. So I was looking at this dude [crazy]. And he was from [Los Angeles], and we was out here in Manhattan shooting the video. And I was like, “Man, this dude is wild, man.” You know? And, we went through it.

Back then they had The Playboy Channel, and at nighttime The Playboy Channel had a X-rated video show called Hot Rocks... So, that’s where – well that was the only place I seen it. And then, in my neighborhood the precinct – like, all the cops knew me. So they used to park outside the studio, and when I’d come outside they’d be like, “Yo, what up Little Shawn. Yo, I saw your video.” And they were talking about the X-rated version.

So, that’s where that came from. I don’t know how you found that today.    

DX: Oh, it’s on YouTube. [Laughs]
Shawn Pen: That’s crazy! Did you know that Jossie [Harris] from The Fly Girls [on In Living Color], Laurie Ann Gibson, Big Lez, all of those girls got they start – that was their first video? They came and auditioned [and] I put them in the video.

Shawn Pen Recalls Meeting And Working With Biggie Smalls

DX: “Hickeys On Your Chest” was referenced by [The Notorious B.I.G.] on his debut 12”, “Party And Bullshit,” and then you sampled that line for your second big single, “Dom Perignon.” As we approach the 15th anniversary of Big’s passing, is there a particular memory of your time with Big that leaps to mind that you could share with the DX readers?

Shawn Pen: I mean, you know … [The Notorious B.I.G.] was such a good dude, man. But, I’ll give you the reason why he did that “Party And Bullshit” quote.

You know, me and [Diddy] was cool. And Puff is the first person that got me ghostwriting for artists in the game. So when he first got hired [by Uptown Records], Howie Tee brought me to meet him and Andre Harrell. Howie actually came to the block to get me, because I was cutting school, hustlin’, and just going to Howie’s crib to record. So he was like, “Yo, these dudes wanna meet you, this guy named Puffy [that] Andre just hired.” So I was like, “Alright.” So we went up there, and they was like, “Yo, would you be interested in writing for a artist we got?” Now, back then Hip Hop was different, so every rapper wrote they rhymes. So, I didn’t understand what they meant by that. So I was like, “Is it any money in it?” And he was like, “Yeah.” So I looked at Howie, [and] Howie was like, “Yeah.” So fast forward that, I was writing for Father MC. And, the first check that came in the mail was crazy. So I was like, “Alright, I’m sold onto this music thing.”

That developed a relationship with Puff. And from that he introduced me to Mary [J. Blige], and I messed wit’ Mary for a while, which is the reason I left the message on [the intro to] her first album, [What’s the 411?]. And then, when he had Biggie, he brought him to one of my shows. Back then I used to run wit’ upwards to like a hundred dudes at a time, through clubs in Manhattan. And he came, and he was like, “Yo, man, I want you to meet this dude I’m thinking about signing. And I wanna know if you mind if he freestyles before you go on stage?” And I was like, “Dude, I don’t even wanna be here. Of course he can go on stage.” So, he was like, “Yo, he’s from Brooklyn too.” I said, “Aww, man, even better.” And that was Big. And Big freestyled to Biz Markie’s [“T.S.R. (Toilet Stool Rap)”]. [Laughs] And after that, then he did the “Party And Bullshit” record and gave me the quote.

So that was the reason for that. And after that, we just became real, real good friends, man. Behind the scenes, that was my dude. I knew [Lance] Un [Rivera] and all of them dudes from the neighborhood, before they even started pushing Big. ‘Cause they used to sell hot cars, and I bought one from ‘em. [Laughs] A lot of history, man, that you don’t really know about behind the scenes in Brooklyn – rich, rich history. You understand?     

DX: Yeah, I understand that you really were more than just friends with Biggie. I heard that “I Will Never Run (A Letter To B.I.G.’s Killer)” joint you put out late last year.  “I would love to know who shot you, so I could go shoot them / Find his family and black suit them.” I was surprised to hear somebody who knew Big still sounding so heated about what happened all these years later. Everybody else who was around him seems to have moved past that anger stage of grieving.  

Shawn Pen: Well, if you think about it, I left in ’98 and I came back [from federal prison] in 2003. So when everybody was doing all those tribute records and … then they did that [Resurrection] movie about Tupac [Shakur], I wasn’t here. And then, when you think about all these guys too in Rap, they weren’t street guys. So it’s like, how mad are you really gonna get? And then your anger’s kinda different from a dude that’ll actually go cut out some work. It’s different.

Like [Jay-Z] - me and Jay were like the best of friends. I am actually the person that brought Jay-Z to Hot 97, and got him his first record played on the radio. So if you go to look at Streets is Watching, the end of the film, when they start showing the videos that they shot outta they pocket, you just look and you’ll see, they got a video that they shot in the courtyard of Marcy [Projects for “I Can’t Get Wit’ That”], you’ll see me and [DJ] Clark Kent sitting on one of my cars [with a bottle of champagne in my hand].

So, you know, you start putting those things together. I’m the one that brought Jimmy Henchman in the game. I brought Haitian Jack in the game. Like, anything in Brooklyn that dudes deemed to be on the left side, those were all my friends.       

DX: This is interesting because – and especially you mentioning that you ghostwrote for Father MC, ‘cause “Hickeys On Your Chest” was like a Father MC joint – it’s just interesting that you had all this street history but in your songs it was on some party shit.

Shawn Pen: You know what’s crazy, when I came home [from prison in 2003] 50 Cent had offered me a deal [with G-Unit Records]. But, you know, my heart really wasn’t into the game. Because, you come home and you kinda like a little spooked to see how the world changed. And then it was the Internet, so I was kinda taken aback. And 50 was like, he had told me that he used to look up to me. And I was like, “How could you be so successful and look up to me?” And he was like, “Because I know about you in the street.” And he was like, “And then I listened to your records and there was nothing related to that in your songs.” I said, “Well, you see I was really trying to hide a lot of the stuff that I ended up going away for.”

But now, everybody’s – like, that’s the in thing: talk about things you not doing.    

DX: Yeah, I just did an interview with Dres from Black Sheep for the 20th anniversary of A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, [and] right before he started recording that album he was in Rikers Island.

Shawn Pen: Oh, no, no, no, Dres has a story that hasn’t been told, and he probably won’t tell it. And, he and I – I’ve never been as approachable as I am now to the industry. ‘Cause I came in the game with my own friends. Heavy D was a real good friend of mine, behind the scenes. But I didn’t really like a lot of rappers. So me and Dres really just started talking a couple months ago, because his family was connected to a dude that I’m cool with. And when I heard [about Dres’ past] – I always knew, I heard wind of it years ago, but, you know, it was on another level. When he tells his story, blow your mind.

DX: Let’s go back here, you mentioned Jay-Z. You referenced him on the “Respect Me” joint that you just dropped the video to. “Used to fuck wit’ Dame, Puff and Jay-Z / Cali did a nigga Big crossed / So now we cop cars and bulletproof the doors.” I knew about your connections to Puff and Biggie, but when and how did you start fuckin’ with Dame and Jay-Z.

Shawn Pen: Well, kinda like almost at the same time. I was real cool with Jay. And I wanna say I met him through Jaz-O, because Jaz had been in the game so long. I came in the game early, so I had always known Jaz. And I wanna say I met Jay through Jaz, but then Clark Kent is one of my closest friends to this day, and he was best friends with Dame [Dash]. So Clark used to be uptown with Dame. And then, we had like a lot of hot sneaker spots uptown, so Clark started taking me Uptown to get sneakers on Lexington Avenue And then, he introduced me to Dame. So me and Dame was cool before he actually met Jay.

So Jay used to come in and out of town with Ty-Ty and go to Clark’s crib and record and then get back on the highway and go out of town. And, we developed a relationship from there. Clark introduced Dame to Jay, [and] we all came together.      

DX: So I mean, was that the next step after Uptown, you were gonna be part of Roc-A-Fella?

Shawn Pen: Nah, not at all. What happened, at the time, Dame had always wanted to be in the music industry, so he always had groups: Original Flavor, this one, that one. Jay didn’t really wanna be in the game, because of the B.S. [he had witnessed Jaz go through]. But he just could rap. So he wanted to be in the game, but he didn’t really see himself making a bunch of paper from the game. So he stayed in the streets and dabbled with it. And, Jay has a first cousin named B-High, who’s actually my best friend to this day. And, B-High just believed in his talent. And he was a real angry dude, man. And he just cursed Jay out and made him start rappin’.

So, you hear Jay mentioning Emory [Jones] and Ty, the dudes that he came up with in the game and ended up going to jail. Well, all of us was cool on the street. Then, when I got to the feds, I would call Emory at home – and he was on house arrest, they had just caught their case. Years later, him, Emory and Ty ended up coming to the feds spot that I was at. Crazy, right?   

DX: Yeah, irony. So I mean, once you got out, then that’s when the 50 talk started, but that faded?

Shawn Pen: Yeah, you know, my heart wasn’t in it, man. And I had dabbled with the church for a few years. It’s kinda like a coming of age, and you grow up and you mature and you kinda get to know yourself. You never lose the love for Hip Hop, but then once you start looking for God you gotta like break – you’re broken down and you’re rebuilding yourself again as a man. So, you’re starting again. So like, babies aren’t born using profanity, babies aren’t born drinking. So, that transformation happened for me as a grown man. So I was kinda like torn spiritually between the music – the profanity, my story – and the church. I just wasn’t – I’m not money driven. Like, it gotta be energy. So if it ain’t about energy, and if it ain’t righteous and true, I can’t do it.

So like, let’s say you got a bunch of dudes signing artists and they can make great records, but I don’t really care to hear you glorifying something that ain’t you – unless that’s you.

Shawn Pen Speaks On Tupac Shakur's 1994 Quad Studios Shooting

DX: Let’s hold off on getting to the present state of mind you’re in. We gotta cover some ground that comes up I’m sure in every interview you do. So just hold tight with me. We gotta go through it though. We talked about Biggie, and you know any talk about Biggie leads to talk of Tupac, and vice versa. So is there anything you still wanna say 17 years later about the Quad Studios attack on ‘Pac that some people still tie you to as part of the setup?

Shawn Pen: You know what’s crazy? I’ve never spoken about it.

DX: Oh, you haven’t? Oh, okay, I thought you had.

Shawn Pen: Never. That was one of the things that really turned me off to the game. See, because … I met ‘Pac through [Haitian] Jack. Jack had a barbershop back then. And then next door to the barbershop was a bar in Queens called Manhattan Proper. And, you know, we’d be at the barbershop every day hangin’ out. Tuesday nights, we went next door. So Jack was known for bringing a bunch of celebrities through there. He had Madonna there, he had Tupac there, he had Shabba Ranks there, he had Buju Banton, he had the dude that Caine stomped out in [Menace II Society]. [Laughs] So you could see Jack with anybody at that time. He was always outgoing, traveling, and everybody [clung] to him.

So, Andre Harrell was doing New York Undercover at the time, and he wanted Tupac to be on New York Undercover. So Jack was like, “Yo, well, him and Shawn could make a record.” Tupac is still one of my favorite artists because of his delivery and his songwriting capability. I didn’t really get into him personally after hangin’ out with him, because – Like I said, man, I was really [in the streets, and] when you hear these songs with all this fire and vigor, and [then] you meet the person … And, me and Jack really didn’t get along. Internally, we’d argue all the time. I’m a spoiled brat, and I’m rebellious, so I can’t really just go along with anything. And I stayed around and watched them interact a lot, and I watched Tupac get spoken to certain ways and I ain’t respect that. So I was more or less turned off [to working with Tupac], but then you’re like, “Okay.” Andre’s in my ear and he’s like, “Yo, this could be great for you, man. I’m telling you ….” And I had “Dom Perignon” out at the time, so I agreed to do the studio session. Bryce Wilson from Groove Theory was producing the track.

So, when Tupac comes off the elevator shot – Now, when you have things like that that happen, if you have any knowledge of the street and something like that happens on your watch and you can’t explain it and you don’t know where it came from and you can’t put your finger on it and you wasn’t down with it, that’s a violation of you. It’s just like if you come to my crib, if you come to my house, I invite you to my crib, you eating, you’re having a good time, and you come outside and get shot on my doorstep, that’s a violation of me. So whoever did that disrespected me, not you. It’s -

DX: [Interrupts] Not to cut you off there, but I have to ask, I mean, did you go to Jimmy Henchman afterwards like, you know, “What the fuck?”

Shawn Pen: You know what? I wouldn’t ask him that, just assuming that he would have more respect for me then to do that at that particular time. If you had a problem with dude, you don’t use me as no pawn. So this is why I never believed he had anything to do with it, because I just don’t think that he would do that to me! Not to him.

See, when you dealing with street dudes, man, there’s a whole ‘nother mentality that the average person can’t understand. It’s just like that whole snitching thing. Yo, dude, if your mother gets mugged, and she’s never done anything illegal, and she’s worked all her life and she’s retired, and she gets mugged and she goes and picks out [her mugger from a lineup], that’s not [snitching]. She’s not a rat. She’s not snitching. Like, she’s not a criminal, how could she be accused of snitching? So you got a bunch of people talking about that that don’t know anything about that. And I don’t respect that. I -

DX: [Interrupts] So again, not to cut you off, but I have to ask, this Dexter Isaac cat, he’s a -  

Shawn Pen: [Interrupts] I don’t even know who that is! I don’t even know who that is. I have no idea who that dude is.

So, you know, I’ve never spoken about it, ever. I’m the only one, as far as I know, that got questioned by the police – in Andre’s office, with Andre. And they were asking me like, “Yo, we heard that you were jealous of him as an artist, and you were jealous of him because he had money.” And, one thing about [me], once you start talking crazy, I’m done. And that was the end of the interview, because that’s ridiculous. You fishing.

DX: We gotta note that Tupac himself never mentions you in “Against All Odds.”

Shawn Pen: No, no, no, not true. I heard the demo. I used to hang out at Def Jam [Records] a lot back then, and somebody had handed me a cassette of that song. And, yeah, he had mentioned me on the record. And when it came out, guess what? That’s the only thing that was taken off.

DX: Any theories about why you think he might’ve done that?

Shawn Pen: I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know. I was just happy that was done. I don’t wanna be referred to in any derogatory [fashion]. If you know anybody in New York, anybody in the game, they’ll tell you I got a crazy temper. Not so much anymore. [Chuckles] I’m a little different, but … you know, I couldn’t lay down on that one. So I was happy that was taken off.

Then, at that time, Uptown/MCA folded. Then all the artists were left in limbo, and they were kinda shuffled over [directly] to MCA [Records]. And, I ain’t really wanna stay there, so Puff was trying to get me a deal. So Puff was trying to get Jermaine [Dupri] to sign me at the time. And I was like [hesitant about that]. And then, one day Puff came and was like, “You know, I might wanna come to the table, but I gotta make sure it’s okay with my staff. You ain’t the easiest person to work with, [so] I wanna make sure everybody’s comfortable.” And, Biggie played a major role in that, and he was trying to get me to sign. But at that time, Suge [Knight] was on Puff’s ass. And, if you were affiliated with me in any way, I come with Brooklyn. So, I always thought that, you know, there was something fishy in Puff’s motive. Biggie was genuine, but he didn’t understand. And then I had my friends out here wanting me to do it just ‘cause it was Puff and Bad Boy, and that was the biggest label. But again, man, I wasn’t – like, I didn’t feel it. I just feel like I was being used. But, neither here nor there, man, everything happens for a reason.

DX: Let’s move past that past and on to your present. I understand you’ve followed in Lil Cease’s footsteps and started training rappers.

Shawn Pen: Um … I won’t say following in [Lil] Cease’s footsteps, but, [Chuckles], you know … Look man, here’s the thing – it’s crazy ‘cause I just had some choice words for the little dude the other day. Around the time when he was going through the stuff with Maino – and Maino is the homie, I was locked up with his man. But we all have history out here through different people that tie into one another. So if it’s real out here, it’s real. If it’s fake, it’s fake. If you got a past, you got a past. But, Brooklyn is serious. So, I used to see Cease on Fulton [Street] hangin’ out with all his jewelry, talking about DVD’s. And I’m like, “Dude, that ain’t gonna get it. You should be ashamed of yourself that you are connected to one of the greatest things in Rap ever and you’re not productive.” So, I said, “I don’t really support anything you doing right now, B.” So, you know, he has since gotten himself together, somewhat. But, I don’t … that’s not … Him, [Lil'] Kim, man, I don’t respect nothing that happened concerning them dudes after Big died. Like, everybody just went crazy. And I don’t think he would of wanted it to be like that, because it coulda happened while he was alive. So you could see so much unity while he was alive, and then when he’s gone everybody’s so dysfunctional. I don’t respect that, man. That ain’t Brooklyn, man. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. You don’t hear nobody in Maino’s camp rappin’. But they’re all playing a supportive role. That’s Brooklyn.

I’ve been working out for about 20 years. And I’ve always been training people, but I’ve since taken it serious because of certain people around me that had serious health issues, [high] blood pressure. And I’ve gotten so deep into nutrition. And then I got hired by a spot in Manhattan, New York Health & Racquet [Club], and I really, really got into it, man, and the art of actually working out. Then the nutrition and changing lives, and speeding up your metabolism, getting you off your blood pressure medicine if that’s your thing. So, you know, it’s more than a pull-up bar and a dip bar and push-ups. That’s the small of it.

Shawn Pen Speaks About Physical Training And The Health Movement

DX: So is there something formal you’re trying to do, like actually set up your own operation or - ? Where you trying to take it?

Shawn Pen: Yeah. What I actually have coming out, I have a – I’ve always stayed connected to [legendary artist manager] Chris Lighty, who manages 50, Mariah [Carey], Busta [Rhymes], so forth and so on.

And, you know, for me the music is just the love, I got the love for it. But, in building a brand you have to bring more than one thing to the table. I love fitness, so it was a matter of meshing the two together, and making it make sense. So if there’s any artists that wanna get in shape, why would you go to just a personal trainer? Who has never been in front of the camera, who doesn’t understand imaging, marketing plans, da, da, da. As opposed to going to a guy like me, who is still in the game, still making music, I know what you wanna look like, I get it. So it’s a lot different.

Even in training Chris Lighty – that’s my dude, so we’ve come together and we’re gonna collaborate on a book and fitness DVD called Take It Personal. And once you pick this up, this is all you’ll need. Unless you actually want a babysitter that’s gonna stay on top of you, and train you every step of the way.

DX: At this point, there’s probably more money in training than being a rapper. You talked about your personal issues with the game at one point, so why are you still putting out new music like your Biggie-sampling new joint, “Brooklyn, Yeah No Doubt”? 

Shawn Pen: Well, you know what happened, I actually wanted to create an awareness in the marketplace right now, and segue from that on to my books and my DVD’s and stuff like that. But, what ended up happening, I’ve gotten a great response online from the music. And now I’m getting stopped in the street by women – and all kind of stuff is going on. So, now I see that I’m gonna have to put a little more effort into the music than I had intended upon doing. … If you Hip Hop, that’ll always be in your blood and you just love the music. So, my music is really a soundtrack for the workout.

DX: Is that the title of the album, or you got something else in mind?

Shawn Pen: All the music that I’m putting out right now is gonna be forthcoming off of a mixtape entitled Brooklyn Keeps On Takin’ It, to quote KRS-One [from Boogie Down Productions' “The Bridge Is Over”]. And [to] just kinda like make a play off of things that Brooklyn has been known for: stick-up kids. [Laughs] So, that’s what we’re doing. Adidas has come to the table also after the “Respect Me” video. They saw in the beginning when the shell-toe Adidas gets put out the car. Clark Kent hooked that up. And, they thought that was an A-1 product placement, so they actually came to the table. So I’m in talks with them because they actually make workout equipment, and I didn’t know that. So if everything works out, you’ll be seeing me draped in Adidas apparel and using Adidas dumbbells to get my point across.

DX: Now, you mentioned Heavy D earlier. I wanna wrap this Q&A up by asking you about the legend we just lost. You’re one of the friends paying respect to Heavy on the opening cut from his Nuttin But Love album, and so I wanted to get any thoughts you might have, or memories you wanna share, of the man you noted on that intro “does what he feels from the heart.”

Shawn Pen: It’s funny that you said that, because I forgot I did that. If you hear anybody say that they knew Hev, here’s a rule of thumb: ask them if they knew his parents, because if they say no, they really didn’t know Hev that well. You know why? His parents were always around. They were instrumental in every step of the way like he was a seven-year-old. So, when you knew Hev, you came to his crib. You been in “The Basement.” You know his parents. He’s very family oriented. So, everybody was just super-tight, man. And after the funeral I rolled through Mount Vernon and pulled over on the corner. Dudes is driving by – they know me because I used to be out there every other day with him. So, you know, like me, I’m not really in touch with a lot of different people, so the people that I’m in touch with I’m real cool with. So if you’re in this phone, if your number’s in this phone that I’m using right now, that means that I’ve been in touch with you as of lately. And this gym that I’m at now gave Hev a free membership, so he was like, “Yo, as soon as I come from Cali, as soon as I come to New York, I’m coming to see you.” And that never happened. So I refuse to take Hev’s number out this phone for that reason alone. I don’t really know if it’s right to attribute his death to his weight, because nobody’s really made a clear statement on that. But, I saw him on the BET Awards and I was very surprised to see that he had gained a lot of his weight back, ‘cause he kept it off a long time. He was a workaholic: boxing, everything. Very sad, man. Very sad. Very sad.

DX: Well, I mean, not to sound corny or anything, but what you’re doing now may prevent the next loss.

Shawn Pen: Nah, that’s not corny. That’s real. So, anybody that I’m around, or anybody that comes in contact with me, they know, I preach that. You got to eat right, and you have to do some exercise.  

Purchase Music by Shawn Pen



  • chuck norris

    You know what's funny to me? When 2pac was alive everybody was quiet as mouse but now that he's dead everybody makes it sound as if they were all tough around them. It's been a decade and some change and NOW every one is coming out of the shadows with a story of how they kept their composure through it all. This dude is saying 2pac was getting punked lol Prodigy lil ass sayin he wanted to kill 2pac, Lil cease said some shit in an interview and the list goes on but when he was alive these dudes were all in hiding. Nobody came out to help B.I.G for shit, Nobody!!! But now they're all gangstaz lmao let me quote the late great on this one "talk alotta shit but that's AFTER i'm gone / cuz they fear me in a physical form / let it be known, I'm troublesome (and I don't give a fuck)" FUck Lil shawn's dick suckin ass, Haitian Jack and his girlfriend Jimmy Henchman as well may they all rot in piss and shit :)



  • Frank Wonder

    He's lying. He did speak on what happened that night. He talked about it in Vibe magazine and he said "a lot of niggas got punched in the face over that Little Shawn was crying shit."

  • sickNtired

    Perfect example of what's wrong my people and cultre. I came here looking to reminisce about old school hip hop when it was fun and what do I get? A bunch of ignorant ish and morons posting pathetic BS. Unless you came here looking to go back in time to when life was simpler you need a life and are an a hole!

  • L.H

    Yo Shawn, why don't you tell everybody how me and Kane's team saw you performing oral sex outside the tunnel? Almost all of us are aware of what you did with B.D, and I seen you kissing and biting Irving's ear. Brooklyn knows what you are, and I hope the world can soon see this too.

  • Charlie Buko

    Incredible interview. s/o Shawn Pen and the whole Czar Ent. KD Wilson, Bryce Wilson, Spot everybody. Free Jimmy Henchmen. Shawn Pen's new single is fire too "I got the 5th out so fuck outrhymin' them"

  • Anonymous

    Unless this punk ass bitch is gonna reveal the truth about Pac's shooting he needs to fall back into oblivion.

  • Anonymous

    Pac aint send nobody to jail with his mouth so I cant understand why he got done like that when he was an ambassador for black youth period. Dude was on some change the world stuff and he was spitten that in his songs up until the point he got shot over whatever reason by whoever. I just think it was really wrong what happend and it needs closure in the community so we can get to real issues that affect us going foward in and outside of music. Its like Malcolm X without the religion getting popped by his own people and we STILL cant progress because we see we get killed by the people we trying to progress. Why do we put the streets before the community?

    • casidy

      EXACTLY, this was all a plot. Pac didn't have issues with no one when they robbed and shot him for no reason, that incident changed everything. He became angry and more cautious, they tried to derail him from his message and his mission to unite dudes.

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  • will

    This dinosaur of a Brooklyn nigga needs to shut the fuck up on anything associated to Tupac. Why cant a nigga simply keep it professional? Thats why his ass is a has been. The nigga had one good song, and even that one song wasnt enough to remember his ass.

  • mr718

    Shawn saying Tupac was pussy... Pac had niggas talking to him wrecklesss smh... He aint the first person to say Pac's gangsta image was phonie, its all marketing the gangsta image at that time!!!

  • who cares

    interesting article... but did anybody else notice how many times this guy said "he was like my best friend" referencing like 5-10 different people? sounds like this dude just wants to be famous or get his name on the net ha... kind of weird

  • QB

    He loss all credibility when he said "Tupac is still one of my favorite artists". I hate when niggas do that walk-line shit; parise the nigga, then diss him. If Pac was a phoney nigga, why tills this day, he would still say that he's one his favorate rappers. For the most-part, Pac was a gangsta-rapper, so being that Shawn consider Pac to be Phoney and fake, why till this day he would still say that Pac is one of his favorate rappers? All the crazy shit that came out of Pac mouth, I wouldn't have no love (or respect) for dude, he wouldn't be my favorite nothing.

  • matt

    see after all these years ppl got shit to say,but they wernt saying that shit when pac was alive.see its easy to say shit now pac aint here because he cant respond,but when he was here to respond they wernt saying these things.also pac dissed jimmy and jack so he couldnt have been scared of them,otherwise he would have said nothing.and pac never claimed to be a gangster,so i dont know why ppl keep saying pac was pretending to be a gangster.pacs songs are not gangster songs.

    • Anonymous

      pac was a thug and he always said. he was never no coward and that's why they shot him when he got robbed because he wouldn't lay down. shawn a bitch and so is puffy. end quote.

  • SomeDude

    Forget all this rap sh*t what I liked most is how thorough he is with the personal training/healthy lifestyle game. Is there a place dude can be contacted about personal training?

    • Checking Someone Lame

      negro please. you must be him, his family or work for him. ain't nobody checking for shit he got because he a bitch speaking on a dead man who can't speak back. i would have respected him if would have said this when pac was alive and on death row. stfu!

  • yo

    Dude probably gave solid answers to most of the questions - key word "most". When HHDX gets to asking questions about Pac, that's when things get shaky ground. Obviously, Shawn wasn't in-the-know about what was going down with Pac and felt he got duped (put into a situation out of his control). Everybody know Henchman & Jack were/are not stand up dudes. The thing about streetlife is the main culprits putting in work are either the stand up loyal G's or the flat out grimy dudes - and Jimmy & Jack fit the latter. Plus, if Pac was getting "talked down on" - sometimes that comes along with the territory. Who goes in someone else's back yard with a room full of cliqued-up gangstas and talks reckless? I'll tell you, prob. those that won't make it out that room in one piece. So for Pac to be shot & robbed (probably cuz he wouldn't do a song for free or a lower wage) then there must have been some type of disagreement or animosity towards him. Pen its been more than a decade, its time to stop being sorry about it.

    • Geddy Green

      fuck u and everything you stand for bitch nigga. pac was the realest rapper that ever did it and shawn ain't bout shit. u fuck boi.

    • Anonymous

      man i liked pac cause of his friendlier side, that i see in interviews and shit, he didnt really talk reckless till after he got shot,,and why not?! someone tried to kill him! Maybe this dude watched Juice too many times hahah, i know, great acting!

  • Anonymous

    "If your mother gets mugged, and shes never done anything illegal, and shes worked all her life and shes retired, and she gets mugged and she goes and picks out [her mugger from a lineup], thats not [snitching]. Shes not a rat. Shes not snitching. Like, shes not a criminal, how could she be accused of snitching? " This some real shit. Niggas than got the snitching game fucked up. If you and your homie do a crime and turn on you that's snitching. Snitching is when you or someone who knew about the crime and had SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE ACTUAL CRIME or PROFT FROM IT CAN'T SNITCH. If you tell your girl then your an idiot.

  • jbsmooth84

    good interview, but there's a few spots where the interviewer should've asked more follow up questions. the jay-z stuff and the tupac stuff he could've pushed to see if shawn would've opened up some more about those situations.

  • realest

    Pac was never a Real G just Real good at acting like one. I still love and appreciate his music but he wasn't built like that

    • Anonymous

      bitch u ain't no real g, u an e thug just like the rest of us, calm ur pussy lips down

    • Anonymous

      i have always prefered when he was making songs about poverty and struggle, that was what kinda set him apart, oh and he was pretty cool in juice haha. I didnt even like his gangsta rap shit.

  • the G.O.D.

    PEACE Funny thing with all the comments up on here is that most of you show and prove that this whole interview went above your head; Tupac , god bless the dead, was careless and had to be checked, and I quote 'Pac would get spoken in certain ways' and not react and this is the thing Pac was nota street dude. Second, homie did respond to that 'crying like a li' bitch' story--and may be the reason pac took out his name and unlike Suge, the punk-but portrayed as a thug- Henchman and them cats were straight up gangster dudes--time has shown that. Let the man tell his story. PEACE

  • truth

    pac said and I quote "niggaz talk alotta shit but thats after im gone CUZ THEY FEEL ME IN THE PHYSICAL FORM..." DUDE AINT SAY SHIT WHEN pac SAID HE WAS CRYIN LIKE A LIL BITCH.... STOP IT 5.


    What's funny as well with Pac is that he gets recognized as west coast, because of his music career I get that. But, dude was born and raised on the east. I don't know to many people who would not rep where they are from even if they moved from there years ago.


    Let me first say that I have never been a Pac fan. All the references to him on this page is crazy because he wasn't a large part of the story. But, everyone seem to translate being real and a G to the music that is put out by a artist. You all forget this is entertainment. No street dude is going to get on record and tell something that really happened in the streets, it won't happen. And how has Pac turned into this gangsta? Pac may have been impoverished like a lot of inner city people but he was no street dude. If you like him, like him for his music not because he was a G...because he wasn't.

  • BlazeDatIshUp

    This guys seems real fake to me. I know fake folks and I keep them far away from me or else I'd end up bitch slapping them and this guy seems fake as fuck. It's funny how people will talk a lot of shit when a person is dead, but when they are alive the are real quiet, scared and keep their mouths closed..smfh..

  • Dee Oats

    Live ya'lls lives... let him live his!

  • Nu Jeru

    This ole bitch ass snake done crawled up from the gutter for that fake playa hating shit. He will never be as real as Pac and I hope he gets hit.

  • Broward County

    Cool story. It's ill how niggas can call their album, "I'm Gay"... how corrections officers can make albums claiming their Big Dope Boys... and all that shit gets a pass. The game is so weak, watered down, and saturated with fuck niggas, and their fuck ass, faggot fucking bullshit that it's hard to remember a time when real stand-up guys used to run this shit. For those of us who grew up in the 80's- not "80's babies"- but those of us who were actually in the street at that time, the game today is like a slap in the face to the culture. But that's what happens when an entire generation of leaders gets wiped out by drugs, disease, incarceration,and death... which is what happened to the Black men of our generation. Few survived to tell the TRUE tale. Good to see cats like this man, Mainie- hell, Jigga... all the 40 plus year-old brothers that were out there in that craziest of times. These young nigga's talk the talk. But they'd be too afraid to walk the walk. Scared their mama, or their girl wouldn't let them...

  • diz

    Gotta agree, this was a good read. Don't know if I believe all the shyt he says, because it seems contradictory to himself; almost hypocritical. Don't wanna work with folks cuz they don't live what they rap about...classic! Dude, you don't due the stripper thing, but they all in your video! Certain things wouldn't happen around you because it would be disrespectful, yet they happen. Sounds to me that you didn't control as much as you thought!

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  • brooklyn bourne

    shawn has done it again! kept it official.see brooklyn always stood up and laid people this city only the strong survive.i dont care if your from another country or know brooklyn,and brooklyn knows shawn.we support dude for his actions not he is giving us a sound we missed. the ny bk hip hop thatthe culture was formed from.sit back and enjoy the ride.but please dont be a slow head ducker...signed nubian god thanks shawn ans respect to dx

    • Anonymous

      it seems like all niggas from brooklyn on some player hating fake east coast props stuff to me. i'm just calling it how everyone outside of brooklyn sees it.

  • Anonymous

    fuck all u niggaz............THUG LIFE

    • HRH

      Remember Shawn, we're 220 and into zap-strap hog-tying, you deadbeat junkie

    • HRH 41

      Hey Lil Shawn you ever been fed cat food? I'd feed you.

    • HRH SKIN

      Hey Shawn, This is Skin, and I ain't hard to find. Bring your ass around to VanCity Motherfuck, and I'll cut your tied up ass with a box cutter with my strapped brother watching you fat lipped motherfuck. We're all 230 ibs, with sleeves, and I'd get you stretched apart while my team is laughing at a nigger snitch like you cocksucking goof nigger


      This is Shawn. We don't do no internet commenting. If you'd like to discuss what you've posted up as "anonymous" I'm everywhere. Contact HipHopDX and we can make that happen. Other than that, be easy with your mouth.

    • Outlawz Imortal

      Tupac is a legend breathing or dead and Shawn is a pawn. Pac never died and never will. Shawn doesn't have a name on his own and will never be on Pac's level. Talking like Pac was a bitch, but none of them said shit for the whole year when he got out of jail to his death. Talk that shit when he was living!

  • Will Lavin

    Dope. Really enjoyable read. Good work.

  • Anonymous

    Back in 90' I first heard of Lil' Shawn on Special Ed's "Leagal" album. Ironically Special Ed had a small cameo in Juice. My thing is, if Pac was gonna record a song with Lil Shawn and was stuck up in the studio why did he come at Biggie? From Pacs standpoint if u are "That Nigga" in NY why couldnt Big find out who shot him?. Pac found out who took U-God's gold chain and confronted him on who he need to holla at to get it back, so why as a NY dude Big. couldnt find out who shot him? Big wasn't as connected to Jimmy and H. Jack as Lil Shawn so I always thought Pac's anger at Big was misguided. Lil' Shawn seems to me as a dude who was straight up about what he does. Known fact that Pac wasn't going to show up at the studio that night until the money was right. So we all know who set Pac up.


      Funny that you said Special Ed and the Dogg Pound cuz Snoop Dogg said his was a big fan of Special Ed, and u right I forgot he did produce some tracks on J.M Conspiracy. On another note DMX vs. Tupac would have been epic (from some words X had for Pac) on the 96' freestyle for Get at Me Dog. But X did the right thing by taking it out because a few days later Pac passed away.

    • Sensaye252

      Special Ed used to pump hard with Big, Pac, and The Dogg Pound. If you listen to Biggie's style, he was influenced alot by Special Ed. Special Ed also produced and engineered the early Junior Mafia records. Special Ed's got mad respect in Broooklyn.

    • Rodney

      wow, did not know the Special Ed connect.

  • Sensaye252

    You leave it to these niggas to tell the story and they'll all make it seem like they were the puppet master, pullin' all the strings. Every criminal is a kingpin in their own mind. I don't remember this nigga bein' some ill drug dealer.

    • @last

      real talk, real dude, met him..nobody talked, as easily as they do now... internet. shawn's looking to profit off his legal hu$tle, nothing wrong with that. plus the statute of limitations is up on the particular issue @ quad.

  • Anonymous

    "So whoever did that disrespected me, not you" Right because Pac getting robbed and shot is not in the slightest disrespectful??????? "Against All Odds' was released after Pac past, so editing Shawns name out was probably not Pacs decision. That demo you heard was real and for you too!

  • P

    This 2pac Quad Studio shit is tired; everybody is trying to make themselves more important than what they are. Move the fuck on. LA niggas killed both Pac and Big, NY niggas just be huffin...blah blah blah. Please move the fuck on.

    • @Lance

      Pac became "great" after he got pop in NY; with albums All Eyes and 7 Day Theory. When he got pop he still was fully conscious, having the ability to shout profanity and raise his middle finger at Puff and Big; if this was for murder, they did a shitty job. LA niggas ended this story.

    • lance

      No, it's not. One of the greatest Hip Hop artists of all times was nearly murdered (before he was). You're wrong.

  • bongwater simmons

    I agree. I've heard Shawn's name for two decades, but never even knew he had an album. Dude seems like the unseen hand in a lot of shit that changed Hip Hop. Great read DX. I may grab that album on Amazon too. Hitman Howie Tee, ay!

  • Enlightened

    That was one of the realest interviews ever! With a real person. Damn, I wish more people in the industry was like this. Shawn, if you reading this, you gained an extra supporter for life! And I'll be waiting for the "Take it Personal" cuz I'm trying be right and healthy out here. Peace

  • Dave S Johnson Sr.

    Didn't know much about this dude, but this was a great read. Thanx DX. I hope dude is successful in all that he does.