We’ve all come to know and love (maybe even loathe) the sometime skeezy hip hop mogul that is Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star Raymond "Benzino" Scott. It seems like the Boston native is always in the middle of a sex scandal (whether he put himself there or not) and when he’s not, he’s rapping about smashing the homies — or, at least that’s what they told him.
But you before you pass judgement on our little Benz, here are five things you should know about him.
1. Benzino is all about literature.
We all know by now that Benzino is the co-founder off the hip-hop magazine Hip Hop Weekly. What you may not know is that Benzino likely parlayed his desire to be a writer into his magazine endeavors. Before becoming the co-founder for the groundbreaking magazine, The Source, in 1988 with partner David Mays, the Boston native wanted to be an author! Who knew!?
2. Benzino’s beef with Eminem may be coming to a close… maybe.
If you don’t know, Benzino and rapper Eminem have a pretty long-standing beef that dates all the way back to 2002 when Benzino’s former mag, The Source, gave Em a low rating on his Marshall Mathers LP. For the next year or so, the two would go back and forth, with Em using XXL magazine as his literary means to fire shots at Benzino and Source. After 2004, it was assumed that the beef between the two had died, but it was never really touched on again… that is until 2012, when Benzino admitted that his did in fact use the mag as a means to attack the Detroit rapper.
“Thinking back, I probably could have did things differently. I had The Source as a platform, and you just get caught up and at the time, I was caught up,” he said on radio show The Breakfast Club. He even said that he’d like to bury the hatchet fact-to-face, though we don’t know if that’ll happen anytime soon.
3. Benzino started rapping in a street gang.
Benzino says that he was first inspired to start rapping after watching the hip-hop movie Wild Style in 1979 and credits his inspiration as DMC of Run DMC. After that, the budding lyricist would join the Boston street gang Almighty R.S.O. and the group would release their first LP in 1996. A couple years later, Zino Grigio would go on to assemble his new group, a trio called Made Men, before going completely solo.
4. Benzino threatened a police officer in Miami!
Back in 2001, Benzino was pulled over by Miami PD for driving erratically (though he claims he was a victim of racial profiling). The rapper was then found to be in possession of marijuana and arrested. Benzino claimed that he’d never come back to the city, but it seems his threats were idle talk, as Benz and former Source co-founder David Mays went on to create their new magazine, Hip Hop Weekly, several years later in the same city. But two years ago, Benz would have to deal with the police again and this time it apparently got serious.
In 2011 he was arrested again for reckless driving, but this time he was in possession of a specialized weapon. Apparently Benz got into a battle of words with the police officer and was brought up on charges of threatening a civil servant. However, it appears that the charges were dropped, and the rapper was exonerated.
5. Benzino may be leaving Love & Hip Hop Atlanta!
Thanks to his ladies man ways, Benzino has been caught in the middle of a couple scandals while on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, including one which his ex-girlfriend, co-star Karlie Redd, revealed. According to Karlie, Benzino had a fling with co-star Joseline Hernandez, who just so happens to be the new “girl” of Benzino’s homeboy, Stevie J. Things didn’t get any better when Karlie claimed to have watched a sex tape between Zino and Jose.
Joseline didn’t take kindly to claims of being “smashed” and Stevie J. didn’t like the fact that his best friend wasn’t fessing up to lying about the ordeal. The guys then proceeded to get into an epic Twitter beef, with Benzino calling Stevie a drug addict and Stevie accusing Zino of having roid rage. The tweet-beef continued until finally Stevie hit a nerve with the Boston rapper and that’s when Benz threatened to quit the show!
The two feuding BFFs have resolved some of their issues and are back to being the buddies. Then again, you never know. When Benzino has a grudge, he holds to it (see: Eminem).
Did you learn something new about Benzino or did you know this already? Sound off below!