Shyne attends Brooklyn Chophouse Grand Opening at Brooklyn Chophouse.
Source: Getty Images

Shyne's 10-Year Prison Sentence: Uncovering the Truth Behind His Extended Incarceration

Shyne spent a decade behind bars following a shocking incident in New York City. Here's the real reason why the rapper went to jail.


Apr. 25 2024, Published 5:22 p.m. ET

The hip-hop community was rocked by Shyne’s conviction in 2001, which saw the Bad Boy rapper be sentenced to 10 years in jail. The MC, whose real name is Jamal Michael Barrow, gained fame in the late 1990s and early 2000s with his gritty lyricism and street narratives. However, legal troubles halted his career and removed him from the music spotlight.

The Belize-born entertainer had a swift rise to fame. After moving to Brooklyn as a teenager, Shyne started his rap career and quickly made a name for himself in the NYC hip-hop scene. His lyricism caught the attention of Sean “Diddy” Combs, who signed him to his famed Bad Boy Records label. Shyne became enthralled in the Bad Boy lifestyle, and he was featured on songs by Mase, Total, and Diddy.

shyne jay z attends  club
Source: Getty Images

Shyne, Jay Z and Richie Akiva attends 40/40 Club Celebrates 18-Year Anniversary.

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As Shyne’s career took off, he hit a bump in the road. The rapper was arrested and ordered to serve a decade in prison, leaving fans to wonder about the state of his career. Here's the real reason why he was sent behind bars.

Why did Shyne go to jail? The Bad Boy rapper was arrested after a nightclub shooting.

According to Billboard, Shyne’s sentence came after he was convicted of shooting and wounding two people during an altercation involving Diddy. The incident went down at a New York City nightclub when Shyne was partying with Diddy and then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez.

The group was reportedly confronted by a man named Matthew “Scar” Allen, who allegedly threatened the group with a gun. A shootout then occurred, and three bystanders were shot during the melee.

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Prosecutors argued that Shyne recklessly fired into a crowd at the bar, resulting in multiple injuries. The rapper was ultimately convicted on two counts of assault and reckless endangerment, along with criminal possession of an illegal weapon.

shyne attends vip night at invest fest  at guardian works
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Shyne attends VIP Night at Invest Fest 2023 at Guardian Works.

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Diddy was able to avoid jail time, as he was acquitted during the trial. This caused a huge rift between the two performers, with Shyne slamming Diddy for allowing him to take the heat.

However, months after he began his sentence, Diddy paid Shyne a visit and they appeared to mend their friendship, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Where does Shyne and Diddy’s friendship stand today?

Shyne has consistently claimed that he was the “fall guy.” Shyne reiterated his point during a press conference on April 18 and suggested that “everyone” knew the truth about the 1999 shooting.

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“Everyone knew all along that I was the fall guy,” Shyne explained, per Complex, adding, “But everyone knew that I was a young kid that took the fall. Everyone knew that, that was the story. I’m just saying that I maintained my innocence all this time.''

shyne and diddy onstage at o shepherds bush empire
Source: Getty Images

Shyne and Diddy onstage at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire.

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Shyne went on to explain that he does not harbor any ill feelings towards Diddy. He even thanked the media mogul for his contributions to Belize.

Meanwhile, one of the women who were shot during the incident insists that Diddy pulled the trigger.

“I watched him, I got [shot] in the face, I watched him fire the gun,” Natalia Reuben explained (via Vibe).

She added: “I was screaming, ‘Puffy [shot] me in the face.’… Everybody knew he did it, but he paid off the club bouncer and all these other people to hide the video.”

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