Tara Todras-Whitehill, AP
Now residing in Jerusalem, Shyne explained that after serving close to a decade behind bars, he is now filled with a new perspective. "I am not ashamed of the mistakes I have made. I'm not ashamed of where I was in order to get to where I am," he told the Associated Press.
Born Jamaal Michael Barrow, Shyne has converted to Orthodox Judaism and changed his name to Moshe Levi Ben-David. "Moshe Levi has a great impact on the music that Shyne makes," he added. Upon his release, the former Bad Boy artist was extradited back to his native, Belize due to immigration issues and has not been allowed back into the United States, despite growing up in New York. He moved to the Holy Land last September and has since taken meetings with Israeli cabinet members, and is promoting Israel's relationship with his home country.
As previously reported, the 34-year-old was looking to ink a deal with Cash Money Records, which was stalled due to his immigration issues. "I spoke with him once or twice, I think him not being able to come to the states is gonna play a big part [in the record deal]," Cash Money labelhead, Brian "Birdman" Williams told The BoomBox in November. "I think once he can get his feet back on the surface it'll make a big difference."
Soon after his release, Shyne signed a deal with Def Jam Records but may have burned a huge bridge when he blasted the head of the label, L.A. Reid, for not focusing on hip-hop acts. Although he has since apologized, there is no word on if, or when, his project will be released.