BY NITISH PAHWA
Remember Shyne? If you’re a fan of the glamour era of 1990s–2000s rap, or followed turn-of-millennium celebrity scandals, the name likely rings a bell. He is, most notoriously, known as a key figure in the 1999 nightclub shooting involving Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend, then known as Puff Daddy. The controversial Brooklyn rapper, who at the time was one of the Bad Boy CEO’s protégés, ended up taking the fall for the incident and languishing behind bars for 10 years.
Perhaps now, as the memories of that bizarre night come back, you might be wondering: Just where is Shyne now? Luckily, I’m here to tell you: As of this week, he’s the official leader of Belize’s conservative opposition party, having ascended to that prominent post after serving for less than a year in the country’s House of Representatives. While that’s a lot to process on its own, what’s even odder about the situation is that it can be attributed to a domino effect starting right with that notorious shooting, and accelerated by Shyne’s long-standing family ties to Belizean politics.
Let’s head back to the very start. Shyne was born Jamal Michael Barrow in Belize City in 1978, just three years before the Central American nation gained full independence from the United Kingdom. By the mid-’80s, Shyne’s father, Dean Barrow, was serving on the Belize City Council, while Shyne moved to Brooklyn and got absorbed into the borough’s burgeoning rap scene. 1998 would be a pivotal year for both father and son: Dean would become the Belize House of Representatives’ opposition leader, taking charge of the weak conservative coalition known as the United Democratic Party, while Shyne would be introduced to Puff Daddy and offered a generous label deal.
Read the full article on Slate.com.