Benzino believes he is owed a lot more respect and gratitude for his role in building a platform for hip-hop and Black culture and its stars.
In a series of lengthy tweets, the “Rock The Party” rapper called out industry peers for neglecting to extend him a helping him when he lost his notoriety and influx of wealth. Aside from being an artist, Benzino became known in hip-hop as a co-owner of The Source magazine. The hip hip-focused publication was co-founded by David Mays and Jonathan Shecter in the late ’80s. Benzino joined forces with the two men in the ’90s. While part of the business he also helped launch The Source Awards during an era when rap music and its stars were not yet widely celebrated.
The Source awards show and the magazine also became a launchpad for Black talent, including actors, comedians, producers, and more. In his tweets, Benzino specifically called out Kevin Hart, DJ Khaled, and radio personality Funk Master Flex. All of whom the “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” alum claimed he provided opportunities for but when they rose to fame he became a part of their past.
He wrote, “It’s funny how when I owned the Source & EP’d the Source Awards I gave a lot these guys who are successful a major platform & some even a bag, but when I fell, they all act like they don’t me, I just smile how they big “celebrities” now, back then needed my platform & helped them.”
In a subsequent tweet, he went on to claim, “I remember Dj Khalid dying to dj the Source Awards & to be in the magazine & I made it happen, or Kevin Hart wanting to host & I made it happen. Funk master Flex another 1, I let him Dj, Now these n**gas act like I’m a stranger, people don’t gaf, they use u with no reciprocation.”
Benzino, real name Ray Scott, fell from hip-hop’s pedestal in the mid-2000s after leaving The Source in the wake of being involved in a longstanding feud with Eminem (which was finally settled in 2022 after two decades) and other public blunders. His tweets continued: “I’m sorry, I seen these guys when they had nothing, they didn’t act the way they act now. I got more respect for these young N**gas in the game, at least they looking out for they people. D**n you can’t bring the money with you when you go.”
At the time of this report, Hart, Khaled, and Flex had not publicly addressed Benzino’s claims. However, that did not stop social media users from weighing in on the topic. “He is absolutely right! Benzino opened a lot of doors and gave our culture our own urban magazine & award show explicitly! Y’all are too young to know the impact Benzino made for hiphop & the entertainment industry period,” wrote one person.
“NOT ONE LIE TOLD…. GIVE BENZINO his flowers…. we remember!!!!! He gave Hip Hop a platform when the industry didn’t want to acknowledge us!!!!! FACTS!!!!” commented another individual in support of Benzino.
Other users suggested that Benzino’s gripes are just a part of business and not as personal as he might have taken things. “It works both ways. They used the Source for themselves and the Source used them to sell magazines. It’s called business,” remarked one person.
Another commented, “The Source NEEDED them though… lol without the artist what would the awards show and the magazine be?” And at least one person attempted to conclude that Benzino soured his relationships with Hart and the other two men. That individual wrote, “They are strangers because of your #energy bruh. If you lifting people up for the right reasons that energy will.”