Disclaimer: This isn’t meant to relive Shyne’s actions that December 1999 night. The past is the past, the future is the only thing which has the possibility to correct itself now.
With T.I.’s eventual return to dominance, there remains but one name on Hip-Hop’s incarcerated roster whose reemergence will truly find itself as a homecoming event. When Jamal “Shyne Po” Barrow finally steps from behind the walls of Woodburne Correctional Facility on October 6, the major question will circulate if the former face of Bad Boy will return to the recording booth. Assuming that he does, here’s what his P.R. team has in store…hopefully.
1. Pick & Choose The Initial “Return Tracks” Carefully
At least from an anticipation standpoint, his return will resemble that of the late Pimp C from yesteryear. Whatever he decides to lay vocals on first will likely cause a firestorm of debate. At the same time, his first 16 fresh out the bing needs to be something which will have damn near the entire industry singing his praises. It doesn’t have to be the #1 song on the Billboard charts, just something that suits him.
2. Plan The Media Blitz Accordingly
To say the least, the media frenzy surrounding Po will be quite the sight. Yet and still, it’s always one interview which manages to set itself apart from the rest. With what publication/organization it will come from, I have not a clue. My suggestion? TSS wouldn’t be a bad choice. If that doesn’t work, let Shaheem Reid, whose piece on the rapper years ago remains one of the better articles I’ve come across, do the honors.
3. Drop An Album Before The Album
Otherwise known as a mixtape which “sounds” like an album. They’ll be no need for a catchy first single, instead it would lament itself as the precursor to the official studio album which would follow soon after. Found on this release would be several non-album tracks which boast the return of the rugged, brash and mafioso character we knew briefly at the end of the 90’s (combined with the more resevered and responsible man he is now).
Another important thing to pay attention to are the features. My top five artists I’d love to see work with Shyne? Beanie Sigel, Bun B, The LOX (yes, I know they’re a group), Nas and Marsha Ambrosius (for her soulfulness) would all make appearances on the album and/or mixtape if it were my call.
4. Address The Diddy Situation In-Depth On ONE Track
Shyne supporter or not, every fan wants to hear what his feelings are towards his former boss. In all honesty, launching a full-fledged campaign dissing Puffy wouldn’t be good for business. Similar to how Eminem handles speaking on Proof musically, don’t do it until a well-thought out and perfectly crafted track is assembled. One record would answer all the questions and would rank as one of the most anticipated songs in awhile. From the shooting, to the different lawyers used during their cases to the years of resentment cultivated in a lonely jail cell, the world wants to hear it all, painful detail by painful detail. Might as well build the hype for it, right?
So realistically will his first steps play out like this? Probably not, but the idea sounds great in a post. Regardless of what happens, I will continue to wait on a good friend of mine’s April 2010 release date as well as Shyne’s. Either way that’s two good brothers returning home. At the end of the day, that’s always something worth celebrating.