Benzino Says Eminem Was Used To Make Hip Hop Pop
Benzino says Eminem benefited from a double standard, reveals how he would have approached his beef with the rapper differently.
According to Benzino, he wasn’t too pleased with the way in which he felt Eminem was used as an artist. The reality star went on to share his belief that Em was used to make Hip Hop more pop-friendly and to make the genre more acceptable for those outside of the black and Latino communities.
“I just think when Eminem came, I don’t think he necessarily knew what the future had for him,” said Benzino. “Meaning the whole change from this thing called Hip Hop, which was a million dollar industry turned to a multi-billion dollar industry, I don’t think he really realized that he was being used as the leader of this new type of movement to make Hip Hop pop. But also make a lot of the companies and maybe a lot of white America not have to deal with some of black Hip Hop or Latino Hip Hop like it was because they would have Eminem.”
Benzino later spoke on the lyrical feud that resulted due to his beef with Eminem and admitted that there were a few aspects of the feud he would have changed. Specifically, his mentions of Eminem’s daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers and other members of the rapper’s family.
“Source was a platform to deal with these type of things,” said Benzino, in regards to using The Source as an outlet for his feud with Em. “It just wasn’t about music. It was about real issues…I just felt like that somebody had to say something. I know a lot of artists were trying to be politically correct at the time. My thing was like Hip Hop battling has been in Hip Hop since day one, so…I just felt like I had an issue to stand on. And I had my platform. And I felt like I wanted to go against him. I just felt like he had—it was a double standard in a lot of things he was doing that other rappers that weren’t white wasn’t able to benefit from. And looking at it in hindsight, I went hard. He went hard…At the end of the day it wasn’t really about lyrics, it just was about trying to get a message across…I definitely think some of the stuff I said about his daughter and family I would—If I could do it again, I would leave that out of it.”
Benzino prefaced his comments on Eminem with talk of his upbringing in Boston and the racism he says surrounded the city at that time.
“It’s not like I was racist,” he said. “I just understood racism. And being in Boston and how Boston basically—the Irish look out for their own, Italians look out for their own. And the black people and the Latino people were kinda shut out from everything in Boston. So, that’s always been in me…I was heavy into just equal rights for everybody. Like it doesn’t matter what color you are, everybody should be treated the same. And that’s just how I’ve always looked at it.”
The feud between Eminem and Benzino first sparked in the early 2000s shortly after Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP received a two-mic rating in the Benzino-owned The Source. As a result of the beef a number of diss tracks were released from both parties including Eminem’s “Nail In The Coffin” and Benzino’s “Die Another Day.”
During an interview with MTV’s “RapFix Live” last year, Benzino said he was wrong for his feud with Em and referred to the rapper as “a great lyricist.”
"I can say it now, I was wrong for it,” said Benzino. “Because at the end of the day, Em is a great lyricist and he should be able to express himself in hip-hop as anybody should.”