Belfast Telegraph

Rapper Shyne converts to Judaism

P Diddy's former protege, Shyne, has converted to orthodox Judaism after serving eight years in prison.

Shyne, who was released a year ago and then deported to his native Belize while appealing his US deportation, arrived in Israel several months ago for the Jewish New Year and has since undergone a conversion process and a symbolic circumcision.

"Being in Israel is just the exclamation point," he said in Jerusalem. "This is the ultimate place to be who you are."

Shyne said his connection to Judaism goes back to his childhood, when he was still known as Jamaal Michael Barrow.

His mother claims Ethiopian Jewish ancestry, but the man who now calls himself Moshe Levi Ben-David said his roots go even deeper and that even as a boy in the streets, he was oddly drawn to Judaism and identified with its biblical heroes.

"I grew up in a war, constantly battling and the only person I could relate to was King David. Of course I love Michael Jordan, I love Mike Tyson, I love the typical people that people love, Muhammad Ali, but I had more of a connection with King David," he said.

Shyne's two new albums, Gangland and Messiah, are scheduled to be released in March by Def Jam records.

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