When Shyne was released from prison in late 2009, record companies were tripping over themselves trying to sign the Brooklyn rapper. Shyne, born name Jamal Barrow, served nine years in prison for his role in a 1999 nightclub shooting – an incident involving then-boss Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs and his partner at the time Jennifer Lopez.
After a huge bidding war, it was Def Jam who managed to bag the former Bad Boy star, with chairman L.A. Reid flying out to Belize to ink the deal personally – a move that gained a lot of publicity.
The big partnership is reported to be worth $5 million, but only eight months into the deal, Shyne wants out of Def Jam, claiming Reid “Doesn’t care about hip-hop.” In a recent interview with Sohh the 33-year-old explains his discontent with Def Jam and reveals he’s considering moving to Cash Money records…
“I’m definitely trying to get with Cash Money but the Def Jam thing is a question mark right now. I’ve been fixing to get up out of there for a while now because [Island Def Jam CEO] L.A. Reid don’t care about hip-hop. The people up there, they don’t know what they’re doing. When you don’t have a strong leader, where you gonna go? They don’t care about hip-hop music. You give them a hip-hop record with an R&B singer, you “might” have a chance. They don’t care. You got The Roots, Ghostface, Nas, probably the best hip-hop roster you could imagine and they do nothing. L.A. Reid doesn’t want nothing to do with rappers — it’s nothing personal, I don’t have nothing personal with dude but he makes it known he doesn’t care about hip-hop. So I’m really interested in seeing who’s gonna replace him. Because I know he’s been replaced — so I wanna find out who’s gonna take his spot before I decide what I’m gonna do with Def Jam…The music that we make is responsible for pop, R&B, everything that’s jumping right now.
“They gotta care about [what we’ve done] the way Jimmy Iovine cares about that, the way Lyor Cohen cares about that,” Shyne added. “I’m definitely not gonna scrap everything I recorded. I put in so much, I’ve come so far. From the first record I did when I got out to the new records I’ve done while going to all these different countries, I ain’t scrapping nothing. I paid for that. I’m not signed to Def Jam anyway, I just need to find another distributor. I might just have Cash Money do everything. Who knows? That’s the beauty about being in the business for yourself. You can decide where you want to go and what you want to do.”