Produced by: EZ Elpee
"Clark Kent discovered Shyne and sent him directly to me. Shyne's manager at the time was Manny Holley (who would go on to manage Keisha Cole). I created the bidding war for Shyne between Bad Boy, Def Jam, and Elektra Records. Here's how: Elektra contacted me because they were looking for someone to ghostwrite some songs for their then-artist, MC Lyte. I instantly thought of Shyne; even though he was unsigned, he stayed writing new material. At the meeting Shyne was more than ready and pulled out a notebook with ill material he had written for Lyte the night before. Rhyming from his book and from a female's perspective, Shyne had been diligent about his craft, professional about this opportunity, and he killed it dead. Elektra wanted to sign him on the spot, especially since they didn't have a strong hip-hop roster, while a couple of blocks away labels like Island Def Jam/Universal and Bad Boy/Arista were dominating the genre with artists like DMX, Jay-Z, Ja Rule, and others.
"It was the end of the year though, holiday season. A lot of the top execs liked to vacation at the swank island of St. Barts. It so happened that during this go-round, Sylvia Rhone, president of Elektra, was hanging out with Chris Lighty, who was then a big at Def Jam, and Sean Combs. As the weekend progressed, every time Sylvia saw either Puff and/or Chris, she'd taunt them with, 'Y'all niggas ain't got shit on my next artist Shyne. You watch who's gonna be that top rapper next year.' She taunted hard, probably because she had that liquor in her. So certain was she that Shyne was going to be signed, sealed, and delivered by year's start, she felt free to talk shit. It didn't help that Clark had already co-signed Shyne to Puff, and hearing Sylvia's boasts only magnified his interest in the young Brooklyn rapper. What she didn't expect was once they were back in the privacy of their private lodgings, both Chris and Puff were heavy in research mode, calling every and anyone in New York City to find out if they knew anything else about this kid named Shyne that Sylvia wanted to sign and how soon they could set up a meeting with him.
"By the time she landed back in New York, Sylvia quickly and painfully realized that the decent deal she had placed on the table to lock Shyne down as an exclusive artist was now being flanked and dwarfed by both Def Jam and Bad Boy. Overnight, Shyne and Manny were thrust smack dab in the eye of a biding war storm. Word spread like fire: Shyne was going to change the world. Execs from other labels tried to put a bid in. Shyne and Manny took all meetings. But it came down to Elektra, Def Jam, and Bad Boy. Actually, once Def Jam and Bad Boy joined the party, Sylvia Rhone and Elektra became an afterthought. There was no way in the world Elektra stood a chance once two of the biggest rap labels at the time put their offers in. I hate what happened to Shyne, how that shooting incident damn near killed his career, all them years he spent behind bars, and the painful steps he's publicly taking to reclaim his spot. Still, as far as I'm concerned, Shyne will always be the official last Bad Boy."