Shyheim Dionel Franklin (born November 14, 1979) is an American rapper and actor better known simply as Shyheim. He initially gained fame as a teenager, releasing his debut album AKA the Rugged Child at the age of 14 in 1994. He has spent the majority of his career affiliated with the Wu-Tang Clan, frequently collaborating with Method Man and Ghostface Killah.[2]

Shyheim in 2011
Shyheim Dionel Franklin

(1979-11-14) November 14, 1979
Years active1993–2014
RelativesGhostface Killah (cousin)[1]
Musical career
Associated actsWu-Tang Clan

As a teenager, Shyheim was considered one of hip hop's brightest prospects, being referred to as a "wunderkind"[3] and a "prodigy",[2] even being admired by fellow rappers such as Jay-Z, who said he "looked up to him" in admiration in his autobiography Decoded.[4][5] However, his career was later derailed due to legal problems.[6]



Shyheim's Virgin Records debut, AKA the Rugged Child. It included the hit single "On and On" the video of which featured Method Man,[7] and the album rose to #7 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Shyheim joined others, notably The Fugees, to provide a free concert to deaf children in a summer camp in 1996.[8]

Shyheim released another album in 1996, The Lost Generation, which featured members of G.P. Wu and Brooklyn Zu.[9] He also shared the stage with the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, and Big Daddy Kane at Madison Square Garden, for a live freestyle session.[3][6] He also made an appearance on Big Daddy Kane's "Show & Prove," which featured Ol' Dirty Bastard, Sauce Money, Scoob and Jay-Z.[7]

Shyheim resumed his career after almost a decade and released subsequent albums on the label he founded, Bottom Up Records.[2] His third and fourth albums, The Greatest Story Never Told and Enter the Bottom, were released to little fanfare in 2004 and 2008. Shyheim released his fifth solo album, Disrespectfully Speaking, October 2009 on his label Bottom Up Records.[2]


Shyheim starred in the video for TLC's "Waterfalls".[7]

He has had roles in films such as the 1996 Pam Grier, Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, and Richard Roundtree vehicle Original Gangstas,[10][11] In Too Deep,[12][7] and The Preacher's Wife[6][7] and he also starred in the television show The Parent Hood.[6] Shyheim appeared in a small role in the prequel Carlito's Way: Rise to Power.[6]

In January 2014, Shyheim turned himself into authorities facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident during a hit-and-run accident that left one person dead.[13] On August 21, 2014, Shyheim was sentenced to 14 years in prison after he pled guilty to second degree manslaughter. He also received a concurrent term of seven years for a gun conviction, and is subject to five years' post release supervision.[14][15]


Studio albums



  1. Lars Brandle (January 9, 2014). "Rapper Shyheim Franklin Arrested After New Year's Day Hit-And-Run Death". Billboard. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  2. Sryon, HipHopDX -. "Shyheim Talks "Disrespectfully Speaking," Bottom Up Records". Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  3. "20 Years Later: Why 2Pac's 'Hit 'Em Up' Is the Greatest Diss Song of All Time". Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  4. "In Case You've Been Missing…Shyheim - XXL". Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  5. "Shyheim Speaks On Decoded Mention". Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  6. "Rapper Shyheim Franklin is still in the game, despite his share of ups and downs". Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  7. "Wu-Tang Affiliate Shyheim Faces Felony Charges In Fatal Hit And Run". Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  8. "The Fresh Air Fund;Meeting Urban Musicians At a Camp in the Country". The New York Times. July 21, 1996. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  9. "Shyheim". Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  10. "Middle-Aged Vigilantes: The Gang Has Grown Up". The New York Times. May 11, 1996. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  11. Staff, (May 23, 2014). "Shyheim Franklin - Biography and Filmography". Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  12. Greg, Grouchy (April 25, 1999). "New Shyheim Album Due". Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  13. "Wu-Tang Affiliate Shyheim Faces Felony Charges In Fatal Hit And Run". MTV News. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  14. "Rapper Shyheim Franklin sentenced to up to 14 years in fatal hit-and-run". Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  15. "Shyheim Franklin Sentenced to 14 Years for Hit-and-Run". August 23, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
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