Hate it or love it the underdog's still going strong. A 20 year veteran, Ray Benzino has weathered the storm through lightening bolts of Hip Hop beefs, and thunderous clashes in the publication world. At the end of the day he has not be deterred, but re-emerged to continue building his legacy as a titan.
Zino stands with new music and bigger ventures than anyone could have ever conceived. Perhaps a misunderstood figure, those contrary biases helped to fuel his long lasting endeavors. If you’re a fan of him artistically of from a media perspective one things must not be denied, the Boston emcee and businessman has paid his dues, and outlasted schools of former peers.
On the cusp of his latest sparing match with the Rap group Slaughterhouse; Ray told HipHopDX this week about his new involvements.
In relation to the highly-publicized Slaughterhouse incident, Ray provided the following “I mean it’s like this, I think it was kind of misconstrued you know what I’m saying. I think they took it the wrong way with the whole video thing. It all started because Royce Da 5’9’s manager [Kino] is the husband of Kim Osorio. Everybody knows Kim Osorio [as onetime Editor-in-Chief of] The Source, and the issues that Dave [Mays] and I had with her. It’s a situation where we wanted to give Slaughterhouse some love in Hip Hop Weekly and they [refused] because of the whole Kim Osorio thing. I just kind of took that for a slight. I was standing around with N.O.R.E. one day and he was asking some questions or whatever, and I stated that I felt like Slaughterhouse was overrated."
The emcee who had tenures both at Universal Motown and Rap-A-Lot Records continued, "I’m looking at it like these guys are supposed to be the top lyricists on the Internet, so I’m just showing that not only can I hang out with them, but I’ve got a couple of young gunners that I’m about to introduce that are going to really show what it is. I mean Crooked I said that he thought Lil Wayne was overrated, and nobody said nothing about that. I’m ready to go to war right now. We’re going to be releasing two songs next week that are going right at Slaughterhouse. So it’s on right now, it’s on and poppin.'”
Recording-wise, Benzino is far from stagnant. DJ Kay Slay just blasted his new single “Break to Build” on HOT 97. Also looming is the speculation of a possible Made Men project. “It’s amazing that Kay Slay just did that. I want to send mad shot outs to Kay Slay. Me being played on HOT 97, which is the biggest radio station in the world, is just amazing. I most definitely want to say that."
Asked about a hiatus from recording, Benzino explained, "I’ve been doing a lot of things. I’ve been in Miami and working with a group called The First 48 with Cognito, Trina’s little brother, One Monster and Lil Dev. We’ve been doing tracks for the last few years. We’re about to drop a new mixtape When the Heavens Fall; we’ve been working really hard on that."
Within his new talent, Benzino remains developing his son Ray-Ray, who first appeared on a single from his father's 2001 Benzino Project album. "I’ve also been working on my son’s project, Cool Breeze Ray. I basically had introduced him on the music scene when he was six or seven and he did 'Shine like my Son,' which received rave reviews. But he’s 16 now and he’s a monster, he’s a beast! We’re working with Mario Winans, Stevie J, Scott Storch, Nelly and a lot of big names because so many people have love for Ray Ray."
Benzino last released The Antidote in 2007, which featured Ja Rule, The First 48 and Cognito.