The Rugged Child of the Wu reacts to being mentioned in Jay-Z's book 'Decoded' for his guest verse on Big Daddy Kane's "Show and Prove."
DJ Dax from DaxGlobal.TV CheckMateNewYork.com recently caught up with Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Shyheim to discuss being mentioned in Jay-Z's upcoming book Decoded. In the book, Jay recounts working with a then-14-year-old Shyheim on Big Daddy Kane's '94 track "Show and Prove," which also featured Big Scoob, Sauce Money and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. He also wrote that Reasonable Doubt's "Coming of Age" was supposed to feature the Rugged Child, but the Staten Island rhymer passed on it and the guest spot ultimately went to long-time Jay-Z affiliate Memphis Bleek. Shyheim says that he is honored to have so impressed Jay as to garner a page in his book, and explains that although he now regrets passing on "Coming of Age," he feels Bleek's verse did it justice.
"I'm honored that I had an impact on [Jay] like that," he explained. "I never really had no clue to the extent of how I was viewed. The whole ['Coming of Age'] record thing, it's kind of disturbing because being an artist when you're young and things, people make decisions for you, and [not appearing on that record] was a decision that I don't know who made that call...but I personally didn't say no. It's kind of an awkward thing, because if someone would have been like, 'Yo, Shy,' then maybe we would have had that dialogue and it would've been a different outcome. Who knows, that's neither here nor there...at the end of the day, I think [Memphis] Bleek did a great job on the record. Coulda shoulda woulda, but it is what it is."
Shyheim also discussed the making of the "Show and Prove" video (see above), to which Jay alludes in Decoded. He says that what Jay said in him having an "...old soul" was simply his perspective at the time. Regardless, Shyheim said that growing up in the industry also had it's problems as he did not know how to separate Shyheim the emcee from Shyheim the person at that time.
"Like I've said, I'm that kid," he said. "I'm still that, you know me from Staten Island, I'm still repping. I was living this life. that's where I was at that age at that time. I don't look back at it and...pinpoint that feeling. It's weird being a kid in the game because you never really get the chance to be like 'I'm in the business.' It took me years to separate...Shyheim [Franklin], the regular motherfucker...and Shyheim the rapper."
The full interview with Shyheim can be been below.