Former Bad Boy rapper turned politician meets with US lawmakers
© Johnathan Williams

Former Bad Boy rapper-turned-Belizean politician Shyne met with U.S. lawmakers this week during his official visit to the U.S.

Shyne, whose given name is Moses Barrow, traveled to the U.S. for the first time in eleven years, meeting with state lawmakers, mayors, district attorneys, and public advocates in hopes of establishing new relationships between Belize and the U.S.

In an interview with The Hill, Barrow said he met with New York Democratic Reps. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesSinema in Arizona as Democrats try to get spending-infrastructure deal LIVE COVERAGE: Biden tries to unify divided House Democrats search for sweet spot below .5 trillion price tag MORE, Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksUS faces daunting task in relationship with Haiti Overnight Defense & National Security — China steps up saber rattling White House puts China on notice MORE, Yvette ClarkeYvette Diane ClarkeLawmakers, security experts call for beefing up cybersecurity Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Congress looks to strengthen government's aging cyber infrastructure Congress looks to strengthen government's aging cyber infrastructure MORE and Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralTop Latino group endorses Padilla for full Senate term Ilhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' Democrats grasping at straws on immigration MORE at the Capitol on Tuesday. 

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Barrow said he and Espaillat discussed increasing economic support for Caribbean nations.

I welcome Congressman Espaillat’s vision to strengthen Democracy and Regional Security through economic investment,” Barrow said on Instagram.

Syne said he also met with Washington, D.C. Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (D) along Phylicia Rashad, an actress and dean of the Howard University's Dean Chadwick Boseman School of Fine Arts.

Shyne told The Hill last week that the purpose of his U.S. visit was to help expand tourism in Belize, having exchange students attained U.S. universities and establishing criminal justice reform. 

“U.S.-Belize relations will be stronger than they ever been,” Shyne told The Hill. 

He recently was elected to be the leader of the conservative opposition party in Belize after former leader Patrick Faber was seen on video threatening to attack the mother of his two-year-old daughter. 

Barrow, whose father served as prime minister of the country, had held a seat in Belize’s House of Representatives for a year before he was elected to his new role. 

Shyne became a household name in the U.S. as hip-hop mogul Sean “P.Diddy” Combs' new protege under his Bad Boy Records label and was involved in the infamous 1999 Club New York nightclub shooting where an argument between Combs and a partygoer led to a shooting that injured three people. 

The “Bonnie and Shyne” singer, whose 2000 self-titled debut album went platinum in sales, was convicted on two counts of assault, reckless endangerment, and gun possession a year later and sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the shooting. 

Barrow, 42, was released from prison in 2009 and was detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) where he was deported back to his native country of Belize as a non-U.S. citizen felon. 

-- Updated 9:45 p.m.