Former Bad Boy rapper Shyne was recently appointed Leader of Opposition in Belize, and he has been working to make strides as he builds relations with Senators in the United States.
The rapper turned politician has been in the United States with help from his friend Diddy who helped him to secure a visa to visit the country. According to Baller Alert, Shyne is returning to the United States as a diplomat this time, and he has plans to meet with a number of senators and Congressmen/ Congresswomen in the U.S to improve diplomatic relations with Belize in hopes of becoming Prime Minister of Belize and getting support for his plans and policies.
The newly elected Opposition Leader will be in the States for a few weeks for the meetings. He shared that he was happy to be back in America but as a diplomat.
“It feels great,” he says in the clip below. “It feels great to be in America representing Belize.”
Shyne, whose real name is Jamal Michael Barrow, has shared his activities in the U.S so far with various posts on his Instagram showing him meeting with officials at the Georgia State Capitol.
So far, he’s met with Representative Erica Thomas, who he shared photos of on Tuesday, as well as the executive director of the Georgia Public Defender Council, Omotayo Alli.
Shyne is the son of former Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He hopes to one day emulate his father in the country’s most important post, something of an inspiration for many who are in music like the rapper.
The former rapper was previously convicted for two counts of assault, reckless endangerment and gun possession in 2001. The charges stemmed from his involvement in a nightclub shooting that took place in December 1999.
Shyne’s return to Belize was due to being deported in 2009 after serving his eight-year prison sentence. The rapper would have had challenges in securing a visa as rarely does the United States grant entry to people who were previously deported.
His friendship with Diddy goes back to that case as the shooting happened from a beef involving Diddy, who was known as Puff Daddy at the time. According to Shyne in an interview with fat Joe in 2000, his involvement in the shooting was self-defense as he was in fear for his life.
“Scar who was the instigator … I know Scar from Brooklyn. Those are my guys. I didn’t have a problem with him; that wasn’t my beef. That was Puff’s issue. They had a problem with Puff for whatever reason. Scar, Nino and the entire Brooklyn crowd was in Club New York. I seen them, it was all love but when they started arguing with Puff … I know what these Brooklyn guys are capable of. I know what Scar is capable of. I know what Nino is capable of. I know what happens once these arguments start. Once they start, it becomes a problem — a serious problem. Once he starts talking crazy, yeah, I became afraid for my life. Once he says it’s about to happen then it’s about to happen,” he detailed the night of the events that led to him going to jail.
“I seen somebody reach for a gun and I reached for my weapon and I defended my friends and myself. Cause once he starts firing, once whoever else pulls out a gun and starts firing, it doesn’t stop there,” he added, “I’m thinking about saving my life,” Shyne said to Joe. “I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. I think for [Puff], he’s a corporation. And he’s thinking about the corporation. So obviously, something like that affects the corporation terribly. At the time, I was thinking life or death. We didn’t have an opportunity for him to say, ‘Thank you for saving my life, saving Jennifer’s life … for saving all our lives.’ Cause he was thinking about the corporation. Did I jump the gun? Absolutely not.”
Shyne and Diddy, along with then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez and a bodyguard, then left the scene of the shooting. None of them were hurt.
However, while Diddy managed to get off by being acquitted of the charges, Shyne paid the price after being found guilty on two counts of assault, reckless endangerment, and gun possession.
In recent times, the former rapper has proven his rehabilitation and has been working in Belize to improve the Caribbean nation.