Former Bad Boy Rapper Shyne Speaks About How His Conversion to Judaism Influences His Music
Former Bad Boy rapper Shyne was recently in Jerusalem to discuss the musicians recent conversion to Judaism and how his faith affects the future of his career as a musician with Time Magazine. The Belize born rapper found solace in faith while incarcerated for firing a pistol in a Manhattan club that left three people injured.
According to Shyne, who now goes by Moshe Levi, Judaism was a more obvious choice for him than either Christianity or Islam since his parents are descended from Jews who fled the Spanish Inquisition and settled in Central America. “An African in America who’s pretty famous in African-American culture, you would think would be drawn to Islam, or maybe Christianity. But I couldn’t convert to something I’m not. Islam just didn’t make sense to me. I come from the ultimate truth. European Jews are not the only Jews,” Levi explained.
When asked about the current status of his career, Shyne did little to clarify the state of his two unreleased albums, ‘Gangland’ and ‘Messiah,’ but revealed that their content was something that fans of his early work might not expect describing them as “totally philosophical and sophisticated. No misogyny. None of that deranged stuff I used to be into.” Shyne’s albums, which he recorded while under contract with Def Jam, seem to be stuck in limbo and the rapper confessed that the financial backing for them has dissipated saying “a million or two goes pretty quickly. It costs to make records.”
Shyne, who was discovered because producer Clark Kent thought he sounded like The Notorious B.I.G., added that he has found new musical icons who might influence his creative future. “I don’t even want to be a rapper. I don’t listen to that music. I’m a musician. I’d rather be like Bob Marley or Leonard Cohen, one of those guys,” Shyne explained.
Shyne recently performed at the opening of solar power plant in Israel and currently plans to return to the United States for a college tour, but he will first have to convince the State Department to let him back into the country.