Shyne Clarifies His Recent "Time" Magazine Quotes

Exclusive: Hoping to clear up a few things about his recent profile in "Time," Shyne spoke to DX about fundraising, his spirituality and his feelings on Hip Hop.

It seems like Shyne has a ton of energy right now. Dont worry, it’s not that “I bang and let your fuckin’ brains hang” kind of energy. It’s more like that, 3 a.m., “I want to tell you about my fundraiser and clear up some misinformation in that Time magazine piece…I’m in France” kind of energy. This is a good thing, because energy was what seemed to be lacking from most of the post-prison music we heard from Shyne earlier this year. Ten years in a federal penitentiary has a way of killing one’s comfort and cadence in a recording booth. Actually, ten years in a penitentiary has a way of just killing you, period. And Shyne says he’s thankful to be both alive and mentally stable after his bid…mic skills be damned. He promises that 2012 will offer an improved flow. But right now, he says he’s thinking bigger than music.

On the heels of a Time magazine article that drew mixed reactions based on Shyne’s religious beliefs and opinions on the current state of Hip Hop, Moshe Levy seems like a hard guy to get a read on. Chalk it up to human nature. Yes, Shyne is a changed man. But if you go back and listen to “Bad Boyz,” he didn’t really care for most of the artificial rappers in his field before he went to prison. He no longer calls them, “Andrew Cunanan ass niggas,” but it’s safe to say there’s not much love lost there. As for his spirituality, Shyne can tell you better than we can—so we let him.

Shyne Reacts To Time Magazine Article

HipHopDX: That Time piece seemed pretty flattering. What issues did you have with it?

Shyne: A lot of these mainstream people…I don’t know if they don’t get African Americans or they don’t get rappers. Is it like we’re supposed to be dumb or unintelligent? If you read the piece, it’s so empty. He just took a bunch of words and just threw it on the paper. The facts are all out of place, and it makes me look like a novelty. If you look at all my interviews, I been talking about being Jewish. That was before you even heard about Drake or any of these dudes. I’ve been throwing that Ethiopian Jew thing up…you can go back to the first interview I did with XXL. This ain’t nothing new. When I did my MTV interview, I was Moses Leviy. But they’re making it seem like, “Shyne comes to Jerusalem and becomes religious.”

DX: And this wasn’t something that happened upon your release…

Shyne: I was in the pen for ten years, being an Orthodox Jew along with everything else. I was going into the yard, working out…hitting the bars and watching BET. All of that was a part of what I was doing. I’m not one of these dudes that went to Israel and all of a sudden I’m born again. I was still making music.

If you look at Rakim, Poor Righteous Teachers—religion has always influenced Hip Hop. Dudes have always taken their beliefs and made that a part of what they were talking about. The fact that we live in this plastic, capitalistic Rap world now where dudes are talking about nothing might make that strange to the mainstream media. But really, what’s so strange about a dude saying he believes in God?

DX: Even people that don’t subscribe to organized religion believe in something. So how much of this comes down to people just wanting to put labels on things?

Shyne: Right. That’s what it’s all about, and that’s what I said in the interview. At the end of the day, I said it don’t really matter what a rabbi teaches you or how much Torah you know. It’s about what you do with it. Ergo, I’m doing the fundraiser to try and build a music education resource center in Belize.

Shyne Reveals His Plans For Returning To The United States

DX: That announcement kind of went under the radar. I saw the video you put out, and you’re doing Let’s Fill This Town With Musicians through your King David Foundation and Oleh! Records?

Shyne: That’s why I’m trying to come back to America and go to Southside Chicago, Southside Queens or Brooklyn and try to pick my little potnas up and get them out of that mindset of thinking they have to kill or end up dead or in jail. I want to see them be Professor Ogeltree or Professor Dershowitz. I wanna see my little dudes survive, man. These little dudes need opportunities. When you see all that thuggin’ and bangin’, it gets to a point where it’s like, “Enough!” There’s always going to be certain people that do that, but now it just seems like everyone is trying to do that. And there’s just so much more to life.

I know for some people that’s all they know how to do. But I’m trying to create an opportunity, and that’s what it’s really about. Religion is what you’re supposed to do to find your way. But at the end of the day, where are you going? I’m not just going to the synagogue. I’m not just going to pray. What am I going to do after that? What I’m going to do after that is make this music, go around the world, and talk about who I am. And then I can use whatever resources I have for the benefit of my little brothers. My little brother is still in Brooklyn right now with a gun in his waist ready to murk something. And I want more for him than that. I want to give him the opportunity to get a diploma, be a doctor, a lawyer, or even a garbage man if that’s what he decides. Jail and death aren’t his only options.

DX: Every interview you’ve done has focused a lot on the religion, though. And they’re specifically talking about the clothes and the hair.

Shyne: So what if I don’t wanna dress like the rest of these dudes. I don’t want to wear tight jeans. What’s wrong with that? Why can’t I just be what I’m on? They were talking about me and my pops being estranged, but me and my pops reconciled years ago. Then they said I converted, but I didn’t convert. My mother’s a Jew and my father’s a Jew. In the interview, I said, “European Jews aren’t the only Jews.” But he didn’t really go into it in detail. The point I was trying to make, is that this is not a novelty. Some people think European Jews are the only Jews, but that’s so not the case. They came after the fact. Judaism started in Africa…in what is now called the Middle East. Egypt, Israel and all that is Africa. They can call it Egypt all they want, but Egypt is Africa, man. Ethiopia is Africa, and Jews went to Africa.

So to me, growing up, I always knew I was Jewish. I might not be a European Jew, and again, I have nothing against European Jews. Some of the best and brightest rabbis come from Europe. Some of the biggest rabbis also come from Latin America, Iraq and India. I sure some people would be surprised to hear that. I was blown away when I came to Israel and saw dudes from Syria, Yemen and other places.

DX: So part of it is heritage versus the actual theology?

Shyne: I’m on my Malcolm X thing right now. The same way he was trying to turn pimps and pushers into real men, that’s what I’m on right now. I’m going that way. If I want to wear a suit or whatever, I’m not trippin’. Clothes don’t make me. If I want to wear my long locks…Bob Marley had long locks. If I have locks like King David or King Solomon, I can still do a song with Wayne. He’s into what he’s into, and I’m into what I’m into…

DX: I walk away from this conversation thinking that whatever religion you subscribed to is more of a means to an end than a destination. You just happened to identify with Judaism?  

Shyne: This is not a religion thing. On one of my songs, I said, “I got my Rays on / Smoking that Pay-Tron / It’s King David son / Not Reverend Mason…” I don’t know if dudes are thinking I’m born again so now I denounce Rap or I denounce the world. I’m not trippin’ off none of that. I respect everybody and where everybody is at, but also I respect where I’m at. I’m just being myself, and the bottom line is I’ll work with anybody that’s a person of integrity. I’m down with anybody that’s honest and about giving back—I’m with that. Let’s do it. It ain’t about me being an African Jew. It ain’t about me being Hasidic. It’s about me being a man that’s about his people. And a lot of these people are suffering in Brooklyn, Belize, Somalia, Ethiopia and all these places around the world. But I’m with any man helping [to end] that.

I’m not denouncing Rap, but I honestly don’t listen to a lot of it. My life is too real to listen to that. I can’t really listen to a dude talk about all this gun toting and this dope that he’s selling. But there’s a lot of talented artists out there. I like this A.S.A.P. kid. He’s funky with it, and he’s got a line [on “Wassup”] that says, “I ain’t talkin’ about no money / I ain’t talkin’ about no cars / I ain’t talkin’ bout no diamonds ‘cause that shit is a façade…” I’m feeling that. There’s a lot of artists out there making good music, but again, I can’t get into too much of it.

Purchase Music by Shyne

53 Comments

  • insanemacbeth

    this guy's a misguided one. THE JEWS are only for AN-NAR (the fire). read AL QUR'AAN AL KAREEM, the LAST scripture, which has been protected, by ALLAAH.

  • Anonymous

    "how can a nation that knows what its like to be slaughtered go and do it to someone else....." ^ that's real

    • Propaganda

      @Tal Please stop using the sob story. You're arguments are flawed. 1. You have the right to live is peace but the Palestinians DON'T?! If you are such peace loving people accept the 2 states solution. Oh let me guess you don't want a hostile neighbour... Israel has one of the most sophisticated weapons collection in the region. To apply a term used frequently in this post, I call "bull shitt" (in advance). Only the US supports Israel blindly. Every and i mean every other country in the world has supported the Palestinian cause, look at teh number of resolutions the UN has issued condemning the Israeli actions. 2. Hizbulla is Lebanese so not relavent to the conversation and Hamas has accepted Israel as a "fact on the ground". Furthermore they are fighting to liberate the concentration camp (=Gaza). 3. Israel = apartheid (First grade math). Separate roads, facilities, hospitals, access to clean water, right to buy property... Furthermore if you do not believe all people are born equal, you are a RACIST so yes the oppressed of world should sympathise with the Palestinians!!! 4. According to you killing multiple generations of a family using a sophisticated missile (not a home made IED, sophisticated missile) is less horrific than a knife... A loss of life is a loss of life (sorry i forgot an Israeli life is more precious than anyone else, including european, american or black = members of the aid fortilla). I know which action is more cowardly. 5. By killing some and treating the living as less than human beings, Israel is creating a "terrorist" (quotation are intentional) every minute and just like you they will fight for their freedom till death 6. If you plan to give me some crap about ancestral rights or God's promise to this land. The Arabs and the Israelites share lineage so by the same argument they have as much rights as you. 7. As for history, the Jews (I only bring up religion as Israel wants the Palestinians to recognise it as a Jewish homeland) throughout history have been oppressed by various nations only a fraction at the hands of arabs (both Muslim and Christian). In fact the Jews were given more religion freedom under the muslims than the Christian whether in Jerusalem or Southern Spain or Turkey. so yes "how can a nation that knows what its like to be slaughtered go and do it to someone else....."

    • Anonymous

      @tal A very compelling argument, I suppose the whites in South Africa were just protecting themselves with apartheid too.. Only thing is that israel has probably killed just as many or maybe more people. Israel doesn't differentiate between militants and the general population, children included, so that is in fact slaughter. Slaughter of innocent men, women and children executed by hit squads called the israeli army. And before you claim that all Arabs want to kill israelis you should check the Seif al-Islam Qaddafi Isratine Proposal, submitted by our late friend Col. Qaddafi. Oh, I almost forgot tal, kill yourself faggot.

    • tal

      no man, thats not real at all. in fact, that is one of the dumbest you can say about us, the israelies. i wont get into history and specific details but slaughter is the exect opposite of what were doing over here. i know that its very popular for hiphop fans to think that because phalestinians suffer here and black people suffer over there so theire the same kind and that bullshit, u know, that the reason for blacks to suffer from racism is the same for phalestinaians (hope im spelling it right). thats some fucking bullshit and all of yall should read more and open up your eyes a little bit. ive been living here for 27 years, served in the army for 3 years and lived thru 4 wars in here and let me tell yall something...becouse of what happend to us 60+ years ago (i lost all my family in ww2, my grandmother lost 13 brothers and sisters, my grandfather lost 12, another grandmother lost 8 and my second grandfather was the only survivor out of 18 brothers and sisters)we need to protect ourselfs, fuck that, we dont need to we have to!!!let me remind to the ultimate goal for all islamic orginaztions over here in the middle east is to eliminate israel!!! hamas,hizbaalla,all of them just want one thing:TO KILL ALL ISRAELI PEOPLE. so we have to protect ourselfs and is the only thing were doing for 63 years. u think we want this shit, u thing were waking up everymorning and say:hmmmm...lets go and kill some arabs. FUCK NO!!! i wish shit will be better over here but we all know that it never going to happen, but we also know that were aint going nowhere so i might die in a war that dont do shit for no one. fuck all yall if you thing were slaughtering them (just know that a month ago 2 arabs snuck into a house and slaughter a hall family:mother, father and four children one of em was only 6 months old so dont talk to me about slaughter you fucking idiot who dont know shit but thing that your a big shot cous u can abunch of words in some stupid website, go read a little and then open your stupid mouth

    • TaZzZ

      Sounds like the history of Israel...

    • YEah.... Real... lol

      That's why he want to come help the kids of brooklyn when their are children dying in far worse places.... I call bullshit!

  • Hmm

    I'm tired of supposed 'intelligent' rappers calling out frauds then up them in the same conversation. Do music with Wayne? Wayne is the corniest, phoniest, no substance having example of what Shyne apparently doesn't like, but he's cool with that? Shyne isn't the only guy like this right now. Hell, B.o.B caught my attention with him calling the game out then turned around and sold out 6 months later. Bunch of frauds. All of them.

  • Anonymous

    Hope he finally fixes his flow cus if he doesnt hell never have a real career in hiphop again but i respect what the dudes sayin.

  • jason

    this dude is real and i see more and more epihanies like this happening in the future. after all 2012 is the dawning of the age of aquarius. thinking on a higher level mind power!! if rap gets back to talking about real life that shit would be dope!!

  • Anonymous

    Look at mystical, he comes out after all this time, hes still considered relavant..we want to hear his shit, why? Cause hes hungry, aggressive and raps his ass off just like back in the day...but Shyne? he changes everything, from his voice and shit. What he doesnt realize is the new generation dont even know who the fuck he is anyways! So when we all hear him now as a new artist, we know him because he sounds wack, dresses wack and we cant even hear what the fuck hes trying to say in his lyrics..so its just horrible horrible decisions by Shyne.

  • Anonymous

    X G X O X O X G X L X E X J X O X N X E X S X P X R X O X V X O X C X A X T X E X U X R

  • Anonymous

    it looks like he is trying to do good. keep up the good work. jail changed him for the better.

  • sw1

    Although I may not be feeling his music of recent, he seems like a sincere person and doesn't want to just stunt on a nigga and claim some glory without any meaning. He actully cares about his community and will give back, not just out of obligation but as a real due who has experience it all and realizes there is a purpose bigger than himself to be conscious about. Although I don't hold the some of his belief, he seems to have bothered to try an get some knowledge of himself, and overstanding which evidently is the path to knowing God, which I think makes him even worthy of even speaking a word to these young fools and is commendable.

  • Anonymous

    Where on the radio or in the Grammys, MTV or BET award shows can you find positive Hip-Hop???????? The part of the Genre that is public is "PURE SIN"!!!!! THAT IS A FACT!!! JUST COMPARE MAINSTREAM HIP-HOP, WHICH IS WHAT IS PORTRAYED AS BLACK AMERICAN CULTURE TO THE WORLD AND REACHES (ALL) AMERICAN YOUTHS THE MOST, TO GOSPEL MUSIC. YOU CAN'T EVEN LISTEN TO 2 SECONDS OF HIP-HOP IN FRONT OF YOUR PARENTS...

  • Anonymous

    I used to like dudes music, even those first few joints he dropped like messiah and Belize was dope IMO. But dude is now throwing concerts for the israeli army? That's f'd up. Most of israel's jews hate Africans as much as Palestinians. FREE PALESTINE!

    • TaZzZ

      I'm not even gonna open this can of worms on a DX forum, but I just did my thesis for my bachelor's on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so I think I can help clarify... The problem with the creation of Israel is that the Jewish ppl's claim to "Eretz Israel" is founded on the faulty premise that the Jewish population spread throughout Europe after WWII were the ancestors (lineage, not religious) of those who lived in Ancient Israel. The problem with this is that there is no proof that when the Roman Empire was converted in 312, that this Jewish population was expelled and created the foundation of the global Jewish community of the 20th century. A more likely explanation is that when the Empire converted, so did those Jews who did not wish to leave their homes (survival of the fittest/adapting to a change in environment). There is pretty convincing evidence out there that today's Palestinians are actually the descendants of the Ancient Israelites, but Israel refuses to allow genetic testing on either population because they are afraid of the political ramifications. Just think, if the most important premise, which all of the principles of Zionsm are founded upon, were revealed as false, Israel's creation in '48 is politically unfounded. This would directly support Arab claims to these lands and thus would make the ABSOLUTE OPPRESSION of the Palestinian's appear more like Rwandian genocide (or South African apartheid, many modern historians have drawn this connection) than the David and Goliath story that the Israeli PR office and American media depict it as. Although there is a wealth of info out there to be ingested on the conflict, this is an important aspect i think everyone should understand. Aside from the aspirations of many crackpots who think they are facilitating the conditions for Armageddon by supporting Israel, The Israel-Palestine conflict is no more than an extension of Western foreign policy in order to keep the oil-rich Arab world in check. America was founded on the principles of freedom and self-determination, yet in order for us to live our lavish lifestyles, we must impede other less powerful nations (and populations) from doing the same. American Irony anyone? With that said, Free Palestine! Damn, KRS would be proud I think very deeply....

    • Swordz

      Jews believe everyone no matter how good or bad will not get to heaven because they are not born Jewish.... Unlike other religons you can not "convert" to become a Jew. They have oppressed Arabs from their homelands and massacred millions. People in the US are fed historical lies from Jewish media and a Jewish finincal global system. Outside America & Jordan (and until recently Egypt) - NOT 1 other country supports the Israeli government and armies position. FREE Palestine???? Fuck YES!

    • Please Read

      @Go Read a History Book: Lets apply your logic to the USA or Britain or Brazil. Using your logic we should just replace the current population of these countries with their ancient inhabitants. You're a genius. And please read before posting CR@P... The historical use of Palestine can be traced back to the 5th Century BC (Before Christ, you make such fundamental mistake i wanted to expand the acronym) and the derivations to at least 1100 BC. "how can a nation that knows what its like to be slaughtered go and do it to someone else......" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNlL3dyLAyk

    • shiggidy

      I went to Israel this summer. The oppression to the Palestinians is beyond words. I stayed with Mustafa Tamimi when i was there. He was just killed the other day from being shot in the head with a tear gas canister. And Its funny no one said SHIT after homeboy posted those links to those youtube videos! DID YOU KNOW that in Israel they are so racist that doctors were caught throwing away blood donated by African Jews because they thought it was tainted???? yepp...

    • Anonymous

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjxOJse_Vng

    • Anonymous

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oljrngl5Iwc

    • Go Read a History Book

      What's Palestine? Never heard of it... I've heard of Arabs, not "Palestine". Looks like after World War I, Britain took the Ottoman Empire ruled by Turks, and drew a couple lines in France, and now you got Iraqis, Jordanians, and Palestinians? How long are we talkin about, 90 years of this word called "Palestine"? Maybe I'm misinformed... I was listening to this Christmas song about the first "Christmas" called "Noel", you see the first Christmas took place over 2000 years in this made up nation called Palestine.... Oh wait never mind my Bible said it was called ISRAEL... "BORN IS THE KING OF ISRAEL" wow I love that song... Matter of fact, weird, I'm reading my Quran and I cant find the word Palestine?!! Wow I must be an ignorant infidel, because Im reading my Quran, and it recounts the story of the Pharoah's population control of the Jewish slave in Egypt exactly the same as my Torah/Bible (one of the first Holocausts against "The Children of Israel"), of which Moses was saved in the river as a baby, and it recounts Moses returning the Jews to their nation.... called.. weird they call it ISRAEL in the Quran! QUOTE: "And [recall, O Children of Israel], when We saved you from the people of Pharaoh, [who were] afflicting you with the worst torment - killing your sons and keeping your women alive. And in that was a great trial from your Lord." Wow you know what go to quran.com and search for the word Israel, and they talk about the Jews and Israel alot... weird... Its almost like Israel as a Jewish nation has tons of history, especially in the Quran, but NOTHING about Palestine??

    • me

      that's bull shit israelis don't hate Africans and most of them don't hate Palistinians you cocksucker. get an unbiased education.

  • nope.

    Shyne seems like a really irrational, rational dude. I bet Def Jam wants their million back as soon as he lands.

  • tml

    wtf is wrong with this dudes hair

  • Anonymous

    Is that you cigar smoking Jeebus?

  • Anonymous

    I used to be a shyne fan, on some real shit, but how is he going to say, he ain't with that fake rapper shit, but he's cool with Rick Ross and all these other fake ass "rappers". C'mon son

  • Anonymous

    LMAOOoOOO @ HIS FACE

  • CROOKLYN

    That's a real dude in this pathetic world we live in Good isn't respected let alone accepted

    • Fool

      Shyne is just doing charity to try to get his green card visa back to US. Dumb ass. He makes music about bussing guns and fucking bitches. WTF is wrong with the youth?!

  • jewlover

    yeah lol most of americans think jews come from europe although more then 50% of jews these days are north-african or latin. I mean look at the jews who weren't born in the us most of them look arab (and act like arabs too lol). but the point is that shyne got to his lowest point and found a spiritual getaway, and I don't give a fuck about his religion, as long he makes good music- which after 10 years in prison is pretty horrible.

  • Swordz

    Why is Shyne getting a Time article in the first place.... Oh yeah... He's Jewish!! LOL Who run the world?? (jews)

    • Swordz

      Woooooooooh So.... Wallabee is a Jew...... All I'm saying is - the last Time Magazine featured a rapper he was either Jewish or actually had some talent. If Shyne is so concerned about the poor... feed kids in Belize. Stay the fuck outta Brooklyn!!

    • HRH

      we all said the same thing. Shyne just let out the jew in him as an opportunity to be allowed to remain in the U.S and to be given all the advantages of a jewish person

    • Wallabee

      Why are you a bitter cocksucker in the first place... Oh yeah... you are broke and uneducated and want someone to give you the world on a silver platter with no work so you blame minorities for your problems!! LOL Who run the world??(not you, you ignorant cocksucker. enjoy making less than 40 k a year until you die)

  • Anonymous

    wow prison fucked this dudes head up really bad

  • Potemkinn

    This nigga went crazy! Yeah, i said it...

  • Sensaye252

    I know it's easy for everyone to just say 'This nigga went crazy', because that's always people response to something that is different. I disagree though. I look at Shyne and I see a man that has FOUND his sanity. It's not like he's on some self-righteous shit. He's doing what we should want rappers to do...be different, be generous to the communities from which they came, and be themself. It's just that nowadays with everything being the same, people have a real hard time accepting anyone or anything that's different. Look, I'm not defending the music he put out since his release (even though 'Belize' and 'Really Doe' are fuckin dope to me), but I have a feeling Shyne is going to do really big things. Maybe not as an MC but definitely as a ambassador for poor people. I'm still ridin' with the homey. Peace.

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