Shyne: A look at the New York rapper’s journey to becoming leader of Belize’s opposition party

Ama Nunoo June 30, 2021
Rapper Shyne Shyne appointed leader of Belize’s conservative opposition party. Photo: Instagram/Shyne

Moses Levi Barrow popularly known as Shyne is making headlines in Belize again for all the right reasons. After bursting onto the Caribbean nation’s political scene last year, Shyne is now the leader of Belize’s conservative opposition party, making him one of the most powerful politicians in the nation, BET reports.

Shyne, best known for his song “Bad Boyz” and “Bonnie and Shyne” featuring Barrington Levy, replaced his uncle as the Belizean National Assembly’s new representative for the Mesopotamia constituency in November 2020 after he secured 53.06% of the votes.

Last Thursday, he was sworn into office as the opposition leader, taking after his father who became leader of the nation’s United Democratic Party in 1978.

“Officially Sworn in as Leader of the Opposition for Belize! Thank God for the perseverance and iron will to continue to this point despite all challenges and difficulties. Thanks to my family, my Mesopotamia Constituents, and my Opposition colleagues in the House of Representatives whose trust and confidence in me has put me in this position to receive this responsibility and privilege of a lifetime to serve as Leader of the Opposition,” the former Diddy protégé shared on Instagram.

“This moment in history will forever serve as an inspiration to all people from all backgrounds especially the youth, the disadvantaged the impoverished, that there is nothing beyond their reach,” he added.

Born in Belize, Shyne eventually moved to New York to join his mother at a young age. He kick-started his rap career in the 1990s and was signed to Sean “P. Diddy’s” Bad Boy Entertainment record label. His first album, Shyne, peaked at number 5 on the US Billboard 200 and number 2 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

His spiraling career, however, took a nosedive after he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on assault, reckless endangerment, and gun possession charges for a shooting incident at Club New York in New York City in 1999. Three people were injured in the aftermath of the shooting.

Diddy, who was dating Jennifer Lopez at the time, and was both at the club during the shooting, was acquitted on gun and bribery charges in connection to the incident, XXL reported.

Shyne was deported to his home country in 2009 after serving his sentence despite appeals to allow him to remain in the U.S. He reportedly hadn’t naturalized as an American citizen and was a green card holder at the time.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 30, 2021


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