March 16, 2001 17:40

DEF JAM FOUNDER LEAPS TO SHYNE'S DEFENCE

Russell Simmons claims that the rapper is a "victim of his own lyrics"...

DEF JAM FOUNDER LEAPS TO SHYNE'S DEFENCE
DEF JAM RECORDINGS founder RUSSELL SIMMONS has leapt to the defence of rapper SHYNE a day after SHYNE's own lawyer said he was facing at least three and a half years in prison for his part in a nightclub shooting.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM, Simmons said Shyne was "on trial because of his lyrics" and that he was a "victim of his own lyrics".

A frequent attendee at the trial which has been a focus of the world's media for almost two months, because Puff Daddy is one of Shyne's co-accused, Simmons said, "I think that Shyne was a great writer and he could've written anything. He admitted he had a gun and that he carried a gun because of the songs he wrote. I think he didn't have to write those songs, because he had kind of different options in life and I think to some degree he is a victim of his own lyrics.

"You know, you live up to your lyrics, you bring on what you write," he noted, "and Shyne was a great writer and he had all kinds of poetic licence to write about any part of his life and all of it would have been good."

Simmons has also described Puffy's time in court as an "experience he had to have".

Referring to Puffy's acrimonious departure from Uptown Records in the early '90s - where the young rap impresario rose from work experience help to chief executive - he said: "All the things he did to get fired he never did those things again, so he became that much better an executive. I just left court with him and he's having another experience he had to have... he won't be doing that again. Whatever they blamed him for - he won't be doing that again!"

Shyne, Puffy and Puffy's bodyguard Anthony 'Wolf' Jones have been charged with weapons charges relating to an incident at Club New York on December 27 1999 that left three people wounded by gunshots. If found guilty, Puffy and Jones face 15 years. Shyne, with additional attempted murder and assault raps, faces a 25-year sentence. The jury in the trial returned to Manhattan Supreme Court today (March 16) for a third day of deliberations.

Click here... to see NME.COM's Puff Daddy On Trial minisite.

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