Rapper Shyne turns to Judaism

By Chris Masi
November 12th, 2010

Something of transcendent proportions has happened to the rapper Shyne after his 8 year long prison sentence. Like many before him, he has turned to religion, a harbinger of potential reformation from the sordid actions of his past. But unlike many who turn to the Nation of Islam or Christianity as a source of healing, Shyne found a more unorthodox Orthodoxy. Orthodox Judaism to be exact.

Jamal “Shyne” Barrow, a Brooklyn-based, Belizean-born rapper who was once the protege to Sean “Diddy” Combs, was sentenced to jail for a shooting at a nightclub in 1999. Upon his release last year, the rapper transplanted to Jerusalem, devoting his time and energy to studying the Torah and planning a musical comeback.

“Being in Israel is just the exclamation point,” Shyne told the press. He insists that his connection to Judaism is rooted in his childhood experiences, being drawn to Judaism at a very young age by the strength of Biblical heroes.

“I grew up in a war, constantly battling and the only person I could relate to was King David. Of course I love Michael Jordan, I love Mike Tyson, I love the typical people that people love, Muhammad Ali, but I had more of a connection with King David,” Shyne said.

For now, the rapper is keeping his street name, but has changed his formal name to Moshe Levi Ben-David.

As he continues his religious studies abroad, Shyne is preparing for a release of his two new albums, “Gangland” and “Messiah”, which are scheduled to be released in March by Def Jam Records.

His goal is to be the biggest music star in the world while maintaining a pious Jewish life which includes building a religious seminary in Jerusalem for Ethiopian children and marrying an Israelite woman.

Will Shyne give the only other Orthodox Jewish rapper on the market, Matisyahu, a run for his money? Only time will tell.

Posted by on Nov 12 2010. Filed under Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Rapper Shyne turns to Judaism”

  1. fatso

    why do black people always find God in prison?

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