From hip-hop to politics: Former New York rapper Shyne wins parliamentary seat in Belize

The political career of former New York-based rapper Shyne has taken another giant leap after he was elected into the Belizean National Assembly during the Caribbean island nation’s November 11 general election.

Real name Moses Michael Levi Barrow, the 42-year-old, whose father is the former prime minister of the Caribbean country, will represent the electoral constituency of Mesopotamia in the Belize House of Representatives under the ticket of the United Democratic Party (UDP). He secured 53.06% of the votes, according to Loop News Caribbean. The former Bad Boy and P. Diddy affiliate also replaces his uncle as the constituency’s new representative.

Taking to his Instagram, the Bad Boyz rapper expressed gratitude to his constituents and also reflected on his journey. “This victory is for all those who are just like me in Mesopotamia, Belize and the world over! All those who have taken a fall! All those who have stumbled on their life’s journey,” he captioned.

He added: “We all fall! But to get up and walk, run and rise again is the purpose of life! We are all destined to be challenged but we are all capable of overcoming those challenges! My story is testament of human fortitude! We all have what I have! We just have to dig deep within and find it! I hope I inspire everyone to overcome their adversities and find their greatness!”

Born in Belize, Shyne eventually moved to New York to join his mother at a young age. He kick-started his rap career in the 1990s and was signed to Sean “P. Diddy’s” Bad Boy Entertainment record label. His first album, Shyne, peaked at number 5 on the US Billboard 200 and number 2 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

His spiraling career, however, took a nosedive after he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on assault, reckless endangerment and gun possession charges for a shooting incident at Club New York in New York City in 1999. Three people were injured in the aftermath of the shooting.

Diddy, who was dating Jennifer Lopez at the time, and were both at the club during the shooting, was acquitted on gun and bribery charges in connection to the incident, XXL reported. Shyne was deported to his home country in 2009 after serving his sentence despite appeals to allow him to remain in the U.S. He reportedly hadn’t naturalized as an American citizen and was a green card holder at the time.

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