The Evolution of Benzino

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Raymond Scott (AKA Benzino) has been involved in Hip-hop in some way since the late 70s. Being apart of The Source since 1988, Benzino has seen media evolve from a hip-hop perspective. The Source went on to become one of the most notable and credible hip-hop publications during the’90s and early 2000s. Fast forward to 2018, hip-hop reality star Benzino has been “chefin it up” pursuing other ventures since leaving the Source and his last stint on reality tv in 2016. First and foremost he’s co-parenting his 3-year-old son Benzino. He’s also back in the studio recording new music, gearing up to reopen ‘Benzino’s Crab Trap in East Atlanta, and plotting his return to reality TV.   

The legendary media executive spoke about how the publishing and hip-hop music industry are progressing. “Hip-hop is always going to evolve. It’s always going to be something new and something different. The only thing that is pretty much going to stay the same is the music and people rapping over the music. Like every music genre society’s plays its part, as society changes hip-hop changes.” says Benzino “When Hip-hop first came out the social aspects of the era and the lyrical content was taken way more seriously and often given limited airplay.” Not saying Hip-hop doesn’t have its share of socially conscious artists that are seamlessly weaving their viewpoints up Billboards Hot 100 while building bigger audiences and gaining more opportunities, you just don’t hear that type of music being pushed as much on urban radio. 

“As far as the one trap, one sound, it all sounds the same. At the end of the day, trap music is just a type of music where the 808 bangs a lot harder and unfortunately this younger generation is focused on catching a vibe and not a lot of thought goes into the art of creating songs. Again, I’m not saying this method is good or bad, because we’ve seen it works. However, writing is just not a huge focal point nowadays,” he says.

Now seeing the new wave in hip-hop through his children who are both in the music industry in their own rights respectively, has given him the new role of supporting father. “My kids are rapping now. My daughter Cori (21), just inked a deal with Universal Republic Music Group, she has a lot of energy, and her swag is really dope. She works off of energy and vibing off the beat whereas my son Ray Ray (25), who signed to Interscope Records at the age of 9, takes more time to write his lyrics.”  Not having the patience for managing his children the music mogul says his best role is,”just giving advice when needed,” he laughed.”My daughter has done this whole thing on her own, she has a crew of 4 or 5, all around the same age, and pretty much independent. She wants to do things her way.” 

With that being said Benzino is preparing his return to reality tv with his son for the upcoming season of Growing Up Hip-Hop: New Yorkwhich is set to start filming the beginning of next year. Learning how to navigate the reality TV road, Benzino wants more control over how he’s being portrayed on television, and with good reason. We all remember the Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta Reunion mayhem of season 3, which bruised faces and friendships. Benzino says he doesn’t think he’ll do any more relationship reality television. “I don’t want to be involved with any negative drama anymore when it comes to television.” With the recent decline in viewership in many popular reality franchises, Benzino says that some of the antics on certain shows have grown tired and turning some of their core audiences away. “There’s a lot of different reality tv shows out there, and it’s really all about format and what the show is about.”

Spending nearly half his life in publishing the entrepreneur says there is a definite decline in the written word. “These days you just don’t know who’s writing what or what to believe. Unfortunately, it’s not just hip-hop, it’s any type of news. It’s any type of journalism. It’s news in general. “The biggest problem I’m having with new outlets and media, is that people are more concerned about getting a reaction than provoking thought. With the help of social media, anybody can be the authority on anything.”

Being successful without peace of mind is just chaos, Benzino says, “I’ve been through so much, I had to learn the hard way.” Having an organized situation in your life, the way your family has learned from you, and peace of mind is what success looks like for me.  A hustler by nature, Benzino has other ventures in the works; a cooking podcast, possibly a line of cookware, books in the future, as well as small acting roles in movies. He is currently in the film “Turnt”. 

These days you can find Benzino at the gym when he’s not cooking and posting new recipes he’s created. “I’m just really understanding what peace of mind is, what life is. I don’t want to sound old, but you really can’t put a price on that,” he says. 

Connect with Benzino on Social Media:@IAMBENZINO

Catch the new season of Growing Up Hip-Hop on WeTv in January 

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