Why Did Jamal “Shyne” Barrow Go to Prison? Where is He Now?

Image Credit: The Wendy Williams Show/YouTube

Netflix’s ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story’ charts the rise of Sean Combs as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. It also documents the rehearsals leading up to the Bad Boy Family Reunion tour in 2016 and features artists like Nas, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, and Lil’ Kim, among others. The viewers also learn about Jamal “Shyne” Barrow, a supremely talented rapper involved in a nightclub shooting in New York that forever changed his life. So, if you’re curious about what happened, we’ve got you covered.

Why Did Jamal “Shyne” Barrow Go to Prison?

Jamal “Shyne” Barrow’s mother moved with him from Belize to Brooklyn, New York, when he was 7-years-old. At the time, his father, a politician and future Prime Minister of Belize, reportedly left them for another woman. Shyne had a difficult childhood and had been part of gangs. He even got shot in 1996 at the age of 17. That marked a change for him, resulting in high school graduation and working to pay for his education.

Image Credit: REVOLT/YouTube

Shyne was discovered in 1998 while he was freestyling in a barbershop and was later signed by Sean Combs. He drew comparisons to the Notorious B.I.G., and Bad Boy Records seemed set on him becoming the next big hip hop star. But things took a turn on December 27, 1998, at a nightclub in Manhattan, New York. At the time, Shyne was awaiting the release of his debut album and was at the club with Sean and Jennifer Lopez.

Inside, Sean reportedly got into an argument with someone who elbowed him after Sean accidentally knocked the person’s drink over while leaving. The altercation ended with gunshots ringing out in the club, injuring three people. Later testimony had Robert Thompson, one of the survivors, stating that he saw Shyne holding a smoking gun but wasn’t sure who shot him. A security guard also said they witnessed Shyne shooting the gun into the crowd twice.

Shyne eventually admitted to shooting the firearm but maintained it was in self-defense. He said, “I never meant to hurt nobody — I was afraid for my life. I’m [asking] for mercy [and for you] not to waste my life.” Shyne was found guilty of two counts of assault, reckless endangerment, and gun possession. In June 2001, he was sentenced to serve 10 years behind bars.

Where is Jamal “Shyne” Barrow Today?

Shyne became a practicing Jew after developing an interest in Judaism upon meeting with prison rabbis. After officially converting to Orthodox Judaism, Shyne changed his name to Moses Michael Levi Barrow in 2006 while still in prison. Since Shyne was 13-years-old, he claimed to have identified himself as an Israelite. He said, “My entire life screams that I have a Jewish neshama (soul).” Shyne was released from prison in October 2009 and was deported to Belize soon after that.

Shyne then moved to Jerusalem, Israel, where he lived as an orthodox Jew and spent about half his time studying religion. Regarding how it helped him, he said, “What I do get is boundaries. Definition and form. And that is what Shabbat is. You can’t just do whatever you want to do. You have to set limits for yourself.” By 2012, Shyne moved to Paris, France, and settled into secular life. Regarding the shooting incident, he said, “I took the fall for my friends. But that’s the way life is.”

By 2013, Shyne moved back to Belize, and there, the redemption story was complete with his foray into politics. In November 2020, Shyne won the Mesopotamia seat in Belize City, Belize, for the House of Representatives. By the following year, he became the leader of the opposition party. Shyne harbors hopes of following in his father’s footsteps (with whom he mended things) by becoming the Prime Minister in 2025. Shyne plans to decrease student loan rates, make life better for the youth, and boost tourism. He has been married to his wife, Catherine, since 2017, and they have a daughter together.

Read More: Where is Faith Evans Now?