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On Monday, just days after former Bad Boy artist Shyne was deported to Belize ater a nine year prison sentence , the rapper is finally speaking up. However, his first words have not been given directly to the media, but to the students of the high school he once attended, Wesley College. Shyne, who has recently changed his name from Jamal Barrow to Moses Michael Levly, explained that he has not converted to Judaism as commonly reported, but that he now looks to Biblical figures for inspiration.

“In life, you are what you are and this is what I am,” he said. “I don’t want to be like Michael Jordan. I want to be like Moses or King David or King Solomon. Those are the guys I aspire to be like. I didn’t want to be like the kingpin on my block; I wanted to be like the guy who parted the sea, that’s why I chose that name.”

He also spoke about the importance of education, encouraging Wesley’s students to avoid the lure of street life. He used himself as an example of what could happen if children took that path.

“I came up on the streets with guys that gangbanged and were into criminal activity, and those tools never worked,” he said. “Those tools, you either end up spending the rest of your life in prison or sleeping in a grave. But with the tools that you are getting here as far as education is concerned, that is the ultimate tool and with that tool you can transcend any situation because I am just like you. I grew up on Curassow Street. When I was coming up we didn’t even have toilets. But one of the things my Uncle Finnegan and my father, Prime Minister Barrow, implored upon me was education, education, education, education.

“What I do have to say is not, ‘Listen man, I am on a gangster roll,'” he continued. “No, listen: Look what gangster roll got me. Look where it led me. And I am not telling you what to do because I am not a preacher and I am not everybody’s father, but I am exhibit A of what’s going to happen if you don’t stay in Wesley College. If you don’t go to that sixth form, if you don’t try to go to the university you’re going to spend the rest of your life in the cooker or you’re going to be in the grave. That is what this is about.”

He shared with reporters that he will be getting back to music, and that he wants to make music that will make a difference while staying true to what’s really going on in his community.

“I make music about life,” he said. “One of the greatest musicians was Bob Marley. There was nothing misogynistic about him. But his music, he talked about some harsh realities some time. He was tough. I would like to make that type of contribution, that kind of Marvin Gaye contribution, you dig? But at the same time we curse, at the same time life is violent, life is troublesome sometimes — so don’t expect my music to be sanitized. I am just going to talk about what’s going on in the world.”

Shyne and his legal team will continue to fight the deportation case, while working on his music.