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August 12, 2004 - 10:34 a.m.

Shyne On You Crazy Felon!

Rapper Who Shot Up Nightclub Cashes In Big!

Ya gotta love America. Where else can you over-react to a nightclub fray by pulling out a loaded gun and firing it into a crowd, get sent to jail for 10 years and still get to make millions by releasing a rap album while still incarcerated!

Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, Our Latest Folk Hero, is just such a shining example of The American Way! The public is buying up his latest CD in droves, eating it up, and really couldn’t care less that this dirt-bag tried to kill a nightclub full of innoc…

Oh wait, my mistake, he’s not a dirt-bag, he’s a victim!!! He wasn’t trying to kill anybody when he shot up a crowded nightclub, he was just panicked and confused and really really really never meant to hurt anybody. I guess he thought his gun was loaded with magic bullets that don’t actually injure people!

Wow, what a concept, bullets might actually kill someone? Who knew?

Said Our Role Model, Shyne: "In that club that night, I had to pull my gun out… I didn't pull it out and wave it around and say, 'Somebody want a piece of me?' Somebody was trying to pop my head off, so I had to do that. "

Note: that’s pop as in hit with fist, not pop like shoot with gun.

Shyne was convicted of two counts of assault as well as reckless endangerment and gun possession. Most notable was the verdict “first-degree assault with a depraved indifference to human life” for shooting random clubber Natania Reuben in the face, a young lady not even involved in the fray!

I guess if bullets hit you in the wrong place, like the brain instead of just the face, that might be bad. Yes, I see it all so clearly now, it was all just an innocent mistake!!! God Bless Shyne, the conquering hero!

I’ve always been strongly anti-censorship, but creeps like this really do test my beliefs. As much as I would love to take Shyne’s CD off the shelves of my store, where do I draw the line, and who am I to decide right and wrong?

Yes, yes, I do feel it’s clear in this case, the slug will get rich while still doing time, but what about other artists out there? Who do I pull off the shelf and who do I keep?

I say let the public decide with their wallets, don’t decide for the public. Unfortunately, this means rewarding vicious fools like Shyne, but it also means not judging other artists on hearsay and making uninformed judgments on the merits of pieces of work that I may have only passing familiarity.

It’s a bitter pill. Excuse me now while I go puke in the corner.

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Ahoy, mateys! Only until Talk Like A Pirate Day!

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All content except as noted copyright 2003, 2004 Lawrence C. Steller, all rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without express written permission from Larry, ok?

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