After serving nine years in prison for busting off during the infamous shootout in Club New York where he was allegedly defending Diddy, then having Diddy turn his back on him during the trial, and then being deported to Belize upon being released last October, most of us were expecting Shyne to come out spitting nothing but hot fi-yah. Then earlier this month, "All My Life," a collaboration featuring him that was slated for DJ Khaled's upcoming album, Victory, dropped. Shyne-Po sounded sluggish, bored, and slightly Eli Porter-ish. Of course Khaled came to his senses, and left the subpar track off the final tracklisting.
Thank God for major labels! Karma is smiling the fuck down on Shyne as our homey Miss Info announced that he had signed a seven-figure deal with Def Jam. The crazy thing is this is the third allegedly million dollar contract Po has gotten. We can only speculate that the ink must have already been dry when "All My Life" came out, so Def Jam had no choice but to act like they were happy and excited about their newest addition. Then again, maybe it wouldn't have made a difference because labels have always believed the hype and opened their wallets to prove it. Shyne won't be the first or last rapper to rape a label, er, rob a label, er, not hold up his end of the bargain. Take a look at some of Rap's biggest contractual fails over the years...
Label/Year: Bad Boy 98/2000, Def Jam/2004
Payout: Rumored to be $1 million each
Bad Boy won a bidding war in 1998 for Shyne, a Brooklyn young buck being touted as "the next Biggie," but his relations with the label soured two years later when Puff threw him under the bus and backed up... twice. After taking the fall, and the 10 years, in Diddy's club shooting case, Shyne eventually severed all ties with the label but not before he saw his debut achieve platinum status. Staying true to the g-code while on the stand kept his street credibility en tact, and prompted a second bidding war over the imprisoned MC in 2004 (based mostly around speculation of early parole that year). Def Jam won and, despite Po's attempts to get free failing miserably, released a miserable album of Frankensteined outtakes and literally phoned-in freestyles. Needless to say we totally get why they'd gamble another milli on him..
ARTIST: The Lox
Label/Year: Bad Boy/1999
Payout: $3 Million
The Lox had a fallout with Diddy and Bad Boy back in 1999 after they were only able to Harlem shake their shiny-suited asses to gold certification. Their original team, Ruff Ryders, who'd temporarily superceded Puff as the flavor of the month, ended up paying roughly $3 million to buy out their contract (but not their publishing—the three're gonna have to pry that out of Puff's cold dead hands!). Despite it's more street sound, and Swizz laced beats, the LOX subsequent album failed to find the same success as their debut, and now 10 years later they're resigning to Bad Boy. Let the LOX go... home.
ARTIST: Kool G Rap
Payout: Rumored to be $1 million
Old heads and backpackers from sea to shining sea rejoiced when the Kool Genius of Rap was signed to the indie powerhouse Rawkus for a rumored $1 million. In an effort to dig themselves out of the hole, Rawkus put pressure on the pop hit-less legend to produce a pop hit. After years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, of recording, both parties lost hope and The Giacana Story LP was was released in 2002 on Koch, where apparently the road to the riches ends.
ARTIST: Mobb Deep
Payout: undisclosed amount + 2 recoupable Porsches
Mobb Deep had a major bidding war after releasing their Free Agents mixtapes, and courting different labels. They were originally going to go with Interscope, but chose to sign with 50 and even got G Unit tattoos as a show of solidarity. Well, Blood Money didn't do that great and fans didn't seem to be feeling Hollywood Hav and Las Vegas P. Now P is in jail, Hav has been quiet, and 50 announced recently that Mobb Deep is no longer signed to G Unit. At least they still got those tattoos, though.
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Payout: $1.5 Million
After winning an '05 Justo Award for underground rapper of the year and landing a notable feature on Busta Rhymes' "Touch It (Remix)," Jive signed him for $1.5 million. The deal turned out to be a ginormous disappointment, with Pap citing "creative differences" upon parting ways with the label in '07. His debut Nacirema Dream never surfaced, which we can't understand being that we know lots of girls who want to hear songs about fitted hats and letters being slaughtered.
Label/Year: Def Jam/2006
Payout: $3 million
After Nas and Jay-Z squashed their beef, God's Son walked into the lion's den and signed with Jay-Z who was the president of Def Jam at the time. He didn't do as well as expected, only selling gold with Hip Hop Is Dead and his Untitled albums. On top of that, most of that money he got is probably going towards those $44,000 alimony payments to his ex-wife Kelis. Ouch.
ARTIST: Jim Jones
Payout: rumored $1 mil
After almost going gold independently with Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product Of My Environment) on E1, and scoring a top 5 hit with "We Fly High," Jones' stock was at an all-time high. The rollout for his major label debut was augmented by an off-Broadway play, plenty of take-out from Philippe Chow's, and declarations from Dame Dash that it was on par with Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt. Unfortunately Pray IV Reign barely sold 40,000 its first week. Now Capo is back at E1 and we're guessing his takeout comes in Styrofoam cartons.
BONUS CONTRACT: Mariah Carey
Label/Year: EMI Records/2001
Payout: $80 Million
Given that Mariah had sold a shitload of albums and was the biggest female artist at the time, it seemed like a good idea when EMI gave her a $20 million advance per album, a $6 million music-video production fund, and about $1.5 million to promote four singles. Then Carey went on TRL with an ice cream cart, did a strip-tease routine for Carson Daly, suffered a nervous breakdown, made a piece-of-shit movie, Glitter, and an accompanying soundtrack that flopped. EMI Records quickly came to its senses and bought out her contract for $24 million.
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