Former Bad Boy rapper Shyne gets endorsement from Buju Banton upon his arrival in Belize.
When a former rapper turns into a philanthropist and then transitions to having a career in politics, you know that it will be interesting times indeed. Just ask the Hon. Dr. Moses “Shyne” Barrow, MP, Opposition Leader of the House of Representatives in Belize, about his political journey, and he will tell you that life has various stages. At this stage in his life, he wants to give himself fully to his island home and make a contribution to nation-building.
Shyne, a Grammy-award-winning writer, performer, and publisher, assumed office on February 1, 2022, and will be contesting the upcoming general elections with his final goal of becoming Prime Minister. He got a ringing endorsement recently from friend and fellow artiste Mark Myrie, otherwise known as Buju Banton. The Gargamel, as he is affectionately called in Jamaica, flew to Belize on Monday, April 11, as he and Shyne have been friends for decades. So it’s no surprise that he would be plugging Barrow as that nation’s next Prime Minister.
Many saw that Banton was on the island when Barrow took to his Instagram to post a picture of the two posing outside of the airport with the caption, “It is such a pleasure to receive a personal visit from my brother @bujubanton.”
Buju’s last visit to Belize occurred in 2003 when he performed at a concert. During his recent visit, he was spotted out and about with Barrow and later shopping at the Michael Finnegan Market.
When asked about how it feels to once again be in Belize and be able to catch up with his long-time friend, the “Til Shiloh” artiste told 7NewsBelize’s Jules Vasquez, “I feel tremendously good to be back in Belize. Wonderful. But the reason we are here in Belize this time is much different from the last time as this time it’s about supporting the next Prime Minister of Belize and making sure that the masses know that there is a movement that they need to get behind. It involves all Belizeans for change.”
She then pointed out that it is not typical for a Rastafarian to support politics, to which Buju responded, “Well, you see, my father King Selassie I was the greatest statesman.”
When asked about being so well recognized by the people of Belize as he was on the streets greeting them alongside Shyne.
“I am a black man and I’m in a black man’s country right now with my people, a multiplicity of nationalities,” Buju said. “But never the less I don’t feel like I should be running around and hiding from people. I want to walk the street and reason with the people and find out what is going on in their minds and see if they are open to what is coming.”
In noting that both men have endured lengthy sentences in prison, Buju’s track “Buried Alive” was used to highlight the similarities in his and Shyne’s journeys.
To that, Buju Banton noted, “That is just a small synopsis of our life because in reality we are all buried alive, you just don’t know it yet.”
Shyne, whose government name is Jamal Michael Barrow, was born in Belize but moved to New York City as a child. He had hit singles such as “Bad Boyz and ‘Bonnie and Shyne” and also wrote and performed on several multi-platinum albums, including Usher’s “Confession”, Notorious B.I.G.’s “Born Again”, and Lil Wayne’s “Carter IV”.
Shyne was sentenced in 2001 to 10 years in prison for his role in a 1999 nightclub shooting involving Diddy and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. The former Bad Boy rapper was deported to Belize after his release from prison and later returned to the US as a diplomat in August 2021 with Diddy’s help.