Benzino Remembers Guru, Talks Jay Electronica

Exclusive: The Made Men front-man speaks about the legacy of his Boston brother, and helping Jay Electronica five years ago.

Along with Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs, both Ray Benzino and Guru's Gang Starr Foundation were true pioneers in Boston Hip Hop. Although the two never released music together, Benzino recently spoke to HipHopDX about the impact of Guru's (né Keith Elam) April death, and his legacy. "[Guru] is definitely one of the greatest to ever do it out of Boston. I've known Keith for a long time [along with] his family. It hit hard, because [of] his accomplishments, and what he's done in Hip Hop since day one. Him and [DJ] Premier changed the game when [Gang Starr] came out, as far as how their music [sounded]. It was the first time I can remember, that New York wholeheartedly accepted a Boston emcee. At that time, New York was on top as far as [lyrical content]." After acknowledging Guru's pioneer role for Beantown, Benzino added, "I think Keith epitomizes the words 'rapper' and 'emcee.' I think it's a major loss. But that's what great about music: music means that his legacy, his words will always live on."

Continuing, Ray particularly acknowledged Guru's role in bridging the gap between two genres. "I don't know about the last moments of his life, as far as [Guru's business and musical partner] Solar. I never met him or whatever, so I really can't pass judgement. But what I do know is that from day one, [Guru] has been instrumental as far as merging Jazz [and Hip Hop]. When Keith grabbed onto it and started doing those Jazzmatazz albums, it really kind of opened up new doors and new light, for artists as well as fans. I just think that he's one of the greatest to ever do it; he might be one of the most underrated. I just believe that his legacy will live on."

In the last year, video has surfaced online, featuring a curious interview with Benzino, conducted by none other than New Orleans emcee sensation Jay Electronica. Ray revealed that the footage is from his 2004 Arch Nemesis DVD, released in conjunction with the album of the same name. "I had met Jay Electronica when we [were still running] The Source. Dave [Mays] had introduced me to him. At that time, when were doing the whole Eminem [exposé], [Jay Electronica] was kind of agreeing with a lot of my views." Four years prior to his true burst onto the national Hip Hop scene, Benzino recalled being intrigued by Jay's qualities. "I was kind of blown away by his character. He was very smart, very disciplined and at that time, if I could compare him to anybody, it might be a Nas."

Benzino acknowledged that while the DVD was released in October of 2004, it did not reach the masses, due to the then-issues at hand. "We made the DVD. The DVD kind of got lost in the matrix, I guess. Nobody really [saw] it. It's only until now, where Jay Electronica is blowin', that people are lookin' at it [with interest]. I'm sure some people that still have that bad taste in their mouth about 'Zino, I think it might even change [their perceptions of me], considering that he really is a major voice on the underground circuit in blog sites and [online Hip Hop magazines]. I know it's kind of surprising to see these guys who have been kind of goin' against what I've been sayin' to see one of their own agree with me, but that's just life."

Six years later, Ray applauds the man who went from interviewer to an emcee/producer running in the same circles as Nas, Diddy and Reflection Eternal. "Big up to Jay Electronica. I haven't spoken to him [since those days]. I would hope that he would reach out, or that we could sit down again, but it was a great interview that we did," Ray said. He spoke to the merits of fans looking at the film for more than just seeing Jay however. "We touched on everything, from The Source magazine, to Eminem situation, to Paul Pierce, to the situation with the Ruff Ryders, and we basically talked about my whole career from Boston to up to 2003." To Ray, Arch Nemesis is essential to understanding an ofted muted viewpoint. "It's just history. It's my [Vh1] Behind The Music kind of thing, where I get to tell my side of the story."

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  • Rusty Scars

    fuck benzino...straight fuckin mockery of real...this butt ass dude said...."It's just history. It's my [Vh1] Behind The Music kind of thing, where I get to tell my side of the story."..clown ass cant be serious with never had a fuckn carrer...your a fuckin bum ass joke..

  • StupidWhiteMan


  • Jace of the Outsidaz

    Rest in Peace Guru, another great MC gone. Hip hop has lost a big influence once again. R.i.p. Guru, Pimp C, Pac, Big, Big L, Big Hawk, Fat Pat, and Dj Screw.

  • Jace of the Outsidaz

    I only have to two for anything posted about Benzino and that is " FUCK BENZINO"

  • biggavelkingjaffe

    U young clowns dont know dude. He's respected in the industry by the o.g's, keep listenen to what the media feeds u lil sheep.

  • g.inthedmv

    This guy is such a herb... he essentially jsut said "look see jay electronics hates em too for being a racisit ( which we all know is not the case) I'm sure that Benzino cosign is what jay elec has been waiting for, I mean he's had nas, mos def, diddy among countless others but he finnaly got the coveted Zino cosign.... wonder how he feels about Jay elec being cool with jump off joe beezy, you know its gotta hurt him a lil bit............ fuck this loser DX needs to quit givin him shine, i wouldnt hear anything about him if it wasnt for this site and this site alone

  • SutterKane

    Benzino leaking that footage years later was funny, even more so because Jay Elec apologized to Em for it, and then Em gave him props in the NY times last week, Benzino taking another L being the final result.

  • Ronnie Guess?

    Why the fuck does hip-hop DX keep posting shit about GAYZINO????? why??? this fuckin clown is so wack and does nothing good for hip-hop!! He is always trying to make some money off another person!!! he hated on eminem, he hated on slaughter house, he tried to make a song for the celtics to buy and use at their game!!! that totally failed cuz they lost haha.. he is now trying to make some money off of guru!!! god someone shoot benzino!!! he is always talkin shit but there is just one problem!! HE FUCKIN SUCKS!!!!!!!!! HE CANT RAP!!!!!! WTF!!! HAHA


    RIP GURU Fuck A hater like Benzino.

  • Boss Town

    RIP GURU ............ one of Boston's greatest fuck Benzino

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  • Nico 3

    He ordered somebody to stab Paul Pierce. Doubtful they're friends, or look back on this with any type of respect for one another. Why even speak on it now? Trying to align himself with the success of the Celtics because Eminem killed what little of a career he had left?

  • Fuckbenzinoyouwackmotherfucker

    Fuck benzino..Your one of the wackest to do it, Trying to beef with em and getting ripped to shreds..Look where you are in life..sitting in boston sucking on your moms titty whilst em is still a platinum selling artist. Recovery..750 thou...Benzino last album like em couldnt sell 2 cds even if you pressed a double album. Fuck benzino..Fagget


    Notice anytime anyone speaks on this lame its cause he gargglin on another niggas nuts?

  • gdsr

    ! there is a "web//site" / named "blackwhitesingle" for dateing or relationship, black or white singles can go there to find someone sexy or beauty online !!!Interracial dateing or relationship is not a problem there, but a great merit to cherish!You are guaranteed to be your r the one of them

  • da police

    benzino 2 legit to quit, he a real dude. He was at a bar in the bean with his peeps



  • yoawa

    Benzino ain't all bad. So he and Dave Mays made him a bigger star than he was in The Source. Isn't that what Interscope and Elliott Wilson did at XXL with G-Unit?

  • 305ilovemia

    I Love M I A Music And Ent. Presents $WonDough$ No Image No Gimmicks Just Banging Ass Music Raw And Uncut

  • Shawn Hooks

    Benzino a FUCKIN' LIVING LEGEND....Murdered the Great White Hope Eminem on WAX

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