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Eminem Was Most Definitely Wrong, But is Benzino and The Source Right?
By Clayton Ruley

This past month The Source continued it's all out war against Eminem, putting out a special edition of the magazine with Eminem on the cover complete with a CD with early Marshall Mathers with insulting and racial comments about black women like “All the girls I like to bone have big butts/No they don’t, ‘cause they don’t ‘cause I don’t like that nigger shit/I’m just here to make a bigger hit.”

Eminem claims that he was frustrated after he broke up with an African American girlfriend and was venting ignorantly in a “friend’s” basement. Eminem tried to stop the lyrics from coming out at all but the courts sided with David Mays, Raymond Scott (a.k.a. Benzino) and The Source and for the sake of the right of the press allowed 20 seconds to be used. The CD also contained words from people such as Nikki Giovanni and in the magazine they have an interview with one of Em’s former roadies who discusses Eminem’s early rapping.

The Big point to me is that The Source people say these lyrics were made when Eminem was 21, while Eminem says it was more like when he was16 or 17 in 88 or 89.
First let me say that no matter what the age I think it was totally wrong for Eminem to say these statements it shows a lack of knowledge and respect for black women. My mother is a black woman so this is the last thing I would want to happen.

But there is a big difference in expected maturity and life experiences from 16 or 17 to 21. We all do and things that are aren’t right or out of frustration when we are sixteen but at twenty-one you should have a better head on your shoulder and know about right from wrong.

The fact is that Eminem can be (at times) more political than a lot of Black rappers out there and he sells millions on every album. Songs like “White America” are made to prove that him and his “thugged out” self isn’t as far from most “regular” White America’s kids as they think. He is in his own form of racism because he is doing an art form that is predominantly done by blacks and no matter how talented he is you will always have people who thinks he gets most or all of his credit because he is white.
He gets sales and can say what he wants not only because he is white (which he will admit) but also because his isn’t the typical white guy. He represents the down on his luck, struggling white urban dweller that often goes unnoticed in the world. He came at C. Delores Tucker, let his mother know she was a poor mother and he never wants white people to forget that the people running things forgot about him as well.

He is versatile on the mic and is also becoming a very sought after producer. Is he the best? Not in my eyes because he borrows from a lot of rappers styles who are still here and kicking just listen to who his favorite rappers are, but he is definitely in the upper echelon and has a lot of power in the business of music because of his label, his talent and his skills behind the boards and on the mic not to mention his race.

Benzino while co-owner of The Source has had a mediocre (at best) recording career with several groups most notably The Untouchables and The Almighty RSO. No matter who he has had on his albums (and they have been notable, some of the best in the game) they never seem to sell in large numbers. He came at Eminem from left field and started a beef when his last album was coming out.

Is this jealousy? Well if it is it makes sense it me.
The Source has been declining in sales to the XXL magazine and to get sales and boast promotions you find an angle and attack it for what it is worth. They can say they are just trying to uncover the Benzino titled “Rap Hitler” but why would you put Em on the cover of your February magazine if you weren’t trying to boost your magazines’ sales. The Source has had pull out posters of Eminem’s spine pulled from his body with Benzino holding the head and has been bad mouthed in several source issues for personal beefs with the Benzino but when he was unsigned hype he was good enough to be in the magazine.

When he was voted number one in the Power 30 they didn’t think he was a racist enough to expose him. In fact Eminem claims he was approached about the beef being squashed and that was why he was given credit in the Power 30.

My problem with The Source is their shady (no pun intended) journalism when covering this whole situation. It makes you wonder what favors are going on behind door: “If you do this album cut with me, I’ll try to get you on the cover! And it could go on and on and on.
You complain about the lyrical content of Eminem’s songs say they do nothing for our children and the fact that he uses the b-word and my not have the best relationship his family but you let others talk about women in demeaning ways, Benzino personally has a explicit song called Booty and most of the people in the magazines aren’t promoting to uplift people. They are, for the most part, talking about cars, sex and drugs! Real uplifting!

XXL has Em on their February cover as well and has an interview with the rapper about the whole situation. In the interview he discusses the reasons he made the tape, his race relations, the Benzino beef from beginning to ending and other tidbits of information.
While XXL is no bystander in this fiasco (they have perpetuated the drama by just being the competitor in the business and having Eminem and 50 Cent on the cover several times despite The Source’s beef with Shady/Aftermath) they haven’t gone to the extremes that The Source has in terms of journalism with a owner’s twist.

Also when asking myself about Eminem I think would Dr. Dre have put him on the scene if he were a racist? Would 50 Cent be on the label just for the money when he has to see a racist face most of the time? Would D-12, Eminem’s crew before he got famous mess with him if he was calling them the n-word behind their backs? Royce The 5’9 and Eminem have been beefing and Royce never said Em was a racist! This is my testing standard.

People do want money extremely bad but I think they want to be respected first and wouldn’t want anything from someone they couldn’t trust as far as they could throw. Especially being a white man and blacks history with whites, blacks are usually on their p’s and q’s and are apprehensive when dealing with whites rapping ones or not! Eminem has said numerous times that it was a huge mistake to make those comments no matter how mad he was and I believe him.

Benzino shouldn’t try taking a personal vendetta out under another guise to ruin a career especially because of comments said 15 years ago when Eminem was a teen. I’m glad he felt the public should know and now we do.
Now it is time we recognize a young person’s mistakes and move on to bigger topics. Benzino and The Source should be concerned about today’s state of Hip Hop and what could be done to help inspire the children to bigger things that nice rims, girls and money.

Hip Hop should shift to helping people recognize past struggles and doing positives to move up. The Source was part of the solution are they now part of the problem?



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