Island Def Jam expects to sign jailed rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow to a $3 million record contract this week, according to a source familiar with negotiations. Barrow is serving a 10-year prison term f
Island Def Jam expects to sign jailed rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow to a $3 million record contract this week, according to a source familiar with negotiations. Barrow, serving a 10-year prison term for his role in a New York night club shooting involving mentor Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and actress Jennifer Lopez, is expected to finalize the deal by the end of this week, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Barrow would be the first artist acquired by Island Def Jam Music Group since Antonio "L.A." Reid took over as chairman in February. The label plans to produce the album from material recorded by Barrow before he was sentenced, the source said, although the prospect of other releases from prison is unclear.
Barrow, whose deep voice has drawn comparisons to late rapper Notorious B.I.G., is not slated to be released from the state prison in Dannemora, N.Y., before 2009.
The proposed contract includes a stipulation that Barrow's albums would be released under the imprint label Gangland Records, the source said. A spokesperson for Island Def Jam parent Universal Music Group declined to comment; calls to Barrow's publicist were not immediately returned.
Barrow's musical career got derailed before it really got going. His self-titled debut album on Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment label was released in September 2000 and has sold more than 900,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
But the following year, when he was 19, Barrow was sentenced to prison for his part in the 1999 shootout at Manhattan's Club New York. Three people were wounded in the melee, which reportedly started after a patron insulted Combs. Barrow was convicted of gun possession and assault and was sentenced to prison for firing a gun in the crowded club and hitting at least one of the wounded people.
No charges were filed against Lopez. Combs and his bodyguard, Anthony "Wolf" Jones, were charged with gun possession, but later acquitted.
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