Benzino still feels a way about Eminem. During an appearance on REVOLT TV’s Drink Champs, the former co-owner of The Source reflected on his controversial tenure at the magazine and his feud with Slim Shady that ensnared the iconic Hip Hop publication.
In the interview with hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, Benzino denied giving his own music generous ratings and reviews during the majority of his time at The Source. But he admitted to doing it once and gave a justification for his actions.
“The only time I gave myself the mics was the Eminem situation,” he said. “I felt like at that point — because it was me against the staff, me against everybody. At that point, I was like fuck everybody. I was in a dark place where I felt like I’m standing for something that’s right. I know deep down what I’m standing for, it’s just not rapping. But I just felt like nobody backed me.”
He added, “I had to learn this the hard way: you can’t look at the industry to be righteous. You can’t look at them to be revolution. It’s about making money. At that point, maybe because I was already making money, I just took it for granted ’cause I didn’t have to answer to nobody. I was at the top of the food chain at The Source.”
N.O.R.E. asked Benzino if he would still handle the Eminem beef the same way if given a second chance. “It’s hard to say,” he responded.
According to Benzino, he was taking a stand for Hip Hop.
“At that time, I felt deep about what I was standing for,” he stated. “My thing was Hip Hop — and I always said this and people have heard it before — Hip Hop was the only thing that made white people come to the culture, buy into the culture, spend money and also interact with the culture through Hip Hop. Nothing else has happened that brought white people to black people then that.
“So, I felt like once they get a white rapper … that white people want to buy him, then they fuck with that balance. ‘Cause now white people will just fuck with him because of his skin color. Before they had to fuck with us ’cause that’s the music. I didn’t feel that way about the Beastie Boys. I didn’t feel that way about 3rd Bass. With Eminem, I just felt like OK, Hip Hop is big now. It’s pop now and white people are buying into it. Now, we need a white person to represent the white people. And that’s just what happened. What I said happened, happened.”
Although Benzino didn’t put all of the blame on Eminem for the industry shift, he said Slim Shady changed everything.
“He came in and there’s a whole demographic of white people who just ain’t fucking with niggas, period,” he declared. “I don’t give a fuck. Those are the guys who’ll vote for Donald Trump. Fuck policies. You don’t fuck with niggas, then we fucking with you. It’s a color thing. It’s a tribe thing. That’s just what it is. And since they outnumber black people, since white people outnumber black people, they’re gonna win.”
Benzino stated, “Hip Hop is more than just rap, it’s a culture. It’s our fucking life. It isn’t just rap … So to him, I’m sure it’s rap.”
DJ EFN questioned Benzino about whether or not Eminem is in the Hip Hop culture. The former Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star repeatedly said no and explained his reasoning.
“Eminem is not in the culture that I’m from,” Benzino answered. “That’s not a bad thing. I’m not mad at that. A lot of people ain’t. But he’s not. We’re not from the same cultures. He grew up one way, I grew up a whole different way. That’s what I mean, culture. He grew up where there was not too many black people and growing up around black people and how we live.”
Check out Benzino’s full appearance on Drink Champs above. The discussion about The Source and Eminem begins around the 36-minute mark.