The rapper Shyne has been in Israel for the past few months, the place that the orthodox Jew calls his spiritual homeland. His official passport, however still says Belize on it, and he returned home yesterday in preparation for a major concert to launch his upcoming album.
We found him this morning at ITVET talking to some members of the youth apprentice-ship programme - and he told us about the concert as a dream coming through:
"It's not so much a show for me, as it is a dream come-true for me. I remember as a kid, I used to go to all these different events, whether it be soccer or the reggae artists coming in and performing. And I remember listening to the music pounding out the speakers, and being in the field and saying; I wish I could be on that stage performing. My heart would start to beat (faster) just thinking about it. So for me, to be here doing my first concert is a dream come true. Because, even though I've been in Israel, and Israel is the home of my ancestors and where my soul is, Belize is on par with Israel. No matter what the religious significance Israel has, Belize will always hold top priority in my heart. So it's good to be back, it's good to do my first show, preparing for my first album that's coming out after so many years of not being able to live my dream, it's really a dream come true. I'm inspired that I'm not Jay Z right now; I'm not getting a couple million dollars to do show. I haven't sold 10's of millions of records; I'm not on the level that I need to be. And that's very important the Belizean people to understand when they measure what I want to do for them as a patriot and as a person that's fortunate, and what at this point, I can do. And in order to get to the point where I can do everything that I want to do for kids - for our nation, for tourism, for everything - I got to be on a triple A game. I never really hit my zenith, I've been a baller-potential my entire career, and I did a couple million records, but i could do 10's of millions of records. But I got to be able to work; that's why no one sees me as much as they would like to in Belize. I don't want to be in Belize with an empty hand; I want to be in Belize in a position to transform the economy, to transform live, and really do something. It hurts me to be here and not be able to do as much as I would like to do but I know, as I was telling these kids, if I go out there, and I work hard, promote, perform, I will be in a position, very shortly, to do all the things that I promised myself I would do for Belize. Music was my escape; it was my way out of desolation, despondency, and hopelessness. And even as we sat here today, we don't know each other that well, but the first thing we connected on was that we both liked the same song making an instant connection. So, with these kids, they may not fit in and have the odds stacked in their favor, but music - I know the Foreign Minister, Elrington, is very big on his orchestra, the Governor General - music is really an alternative kids picking up that gun and blowing your head off."
"The million-dollar question is who the special featured artist that is coming is?"
"You have to buy a ticket and show up on Saturday night."
"Belizeans are aware of what they call 'cats in the bag'."
"At the end of the day, only God can guarantee anything, but we're looking forward to having an extra-ordinary night and extra-ordinary guest."
DJ Dalla, Show Promoter
"Shyne has 2 or 3 international reggae, RnB, hip hip acts that he is bringing in. We also have Barrington Levy, Black Rhino, Chino, and others already here. We also have a host of Belizean artists including Black Chiny, Belizean Movements, Tag International; it's a full show. I'll advise to go on out and get your tickets; get ready for a big show tomorrow. What happened was that were just doing it on our level, and Shyne and Def Jam stepped in. They wanted to do it at the next level. Hence, they moved it from the poolside and put it at the MCC, because they see it as a big show, and he is bringing in BET personnel and different others. He said that this is going to be shown globally after this. So I think this is the thing that will set himself back on the map from here at home."
"Do you know who the special featured artist is?"
"No Jules, I don't know."
"Does the mystery intrigue you or does it concern you?"
"Well both, kinda, because has been calling me wanting to know who it is; I want to know myself. It does kinda worry me because you know how Belizean people go. You are saying that you are bringing this and if you don't then - but it's all up to Shyne."
Up to news time we still could not confirm who the mystery guest artists are - but the names Foxy Brown, Busta Rhymes and Wyclef have been thrown around - again though, that's just what we've heard. The concert takes place tomorrow night at the MCC.