After Eminem phoned in to New York’s Hot 97 to reply to a dis by Benzino with such quips as “HasBenzino,” Philly’s Power 99 featured Benzino explaining the origin of the riff between the two. The Boston-bred rapper said his song was more of a slight against the machine of the music industry, rather than at the blue-eyed Detroit rapper. “I have a problem with the machine and Em is the poster boy for the machine,” he said. “And because of the machine, a lot of cats with skills can’t get put on.”
Benzino, co-owner of The Source, said he became disgruntled at an article in the New York Times where a reporter wrote that Eminem is responsible for crossing cultural boundaries and anointed him the best rapper. “When he first got in the game, he was humble, but he’s taking this number one this too far,” Benzino stated. He then rhetorically asked if Eminem were five shades darker, would he be as successful as he is?
As to whether the beef is a black and white thing, Benzino replied it is about opening minds to where hip hop is heading. He reinforced his argument against the music industry by claiming that his has to change his style to become successful, while Eminem does not. “I came into this game as a street and reality rapper, but I have to make ‘Bootee’ and ‘Rock The Party’ because that is where hip hop is going,” he said. “While Eminem talks about his mom and whatever he wants.”
In regards to the comments Eminem made on Hot 97, Benzino said, “Jokes don’t hurt me, I’m a grown man.” He went on to add that the hip-hop community has to become accountable for the art. “Hip hop came from the streets and it’s taking a funny turn, we gotta’ speak up against the machine before we lose it.”
After releasing a remix album earlier in the year on Motown Records, Benzino is slated to drop his latest album Redemption, on November 26th via Elektra Records.