The Outlawz member sat down with The Art of Dialogue, where he detailed a tense encounter with the former Bad Boy rapper at The Source Awards in the mid ’90s at the height of the East Coast-West Coast beef.
“[We were] like 40 deep and we looking for trouble,” he began. “I happened to look over — but I got a lot of respect for Shyne because of this — I happened to look over and seen Shyne. He was by himself, he was just with a female. I looked at him, he looked at me. I said, ‘What’s up?’ He said, ‘What’s up?’
“I got up and the whole squad started mouthing off. The security is there so we can’t really do much. And the reason why I got a lot of respect for Shyne is because he stood up. He didn’t back down. He was by himself with a lady.”
Luckily, security prevented a brawl from breaking out, although they weren’t able to stop a spitting match between Napoleon and Shyne from ensuing.
“We couldn’t get to him, I tried to get to him but the security was backing us up, so I spit at him,” he continued. “He did it back, he spit at us. It was getting heated, it really was about to go down … But from that day on, I really had a lot of respect for him.”
Years later, Napoleon spoke with Shyne over Twitter DMs and they showed respect for one another, with the Belizean rapper-turned-politician revealing he also had a lot of love for Outlawz’s founder, 2Pac.
“We got in contact with each other on Twitter and had a very positive conversation about that event,” Napoleon said. “I had to tell him, ‘I’m Muslim now. We both was wild but it’s good to see you doing your thing. We matured.’
“He said, ‘Man, I love ‘Pac. To us, ‘Pac was our first Barack Obama.’ We thinking that we automatically making him our enemy because he with Bad Boy, but at the same time he got nothing bad to say about ‘Pac. He love ‘Pac, he respect ‘Pac.”
After serving nine years in prison for his alleged role in a 1999 NYC nightclub shooting that injured three people, Shyne turned a new leaf and pursued a career in politics, eventually becoming Belize’s Opposition Leader in the House of Representatives and the leader of the Belize United Democratic Party.