Family biz is some cruddy stuff. There’s nothing more dangerous than a fight between family members. I’ve seen dudes swing on their moms and dads. I’ve seen sisters attempt to slice their own sister’s ear off with butcher knives. Dads have pulled out the Glocks and unloaded them in hopes of plugging their sons. It’s real gutter stuff. A fight between family members dictates that all individuals not responsible should keep out of it. If I personally witness a family squabble I will chuck up the “That’s family business, I’m not in it” statement quicker than an Allen Iverson shooting the 'J ' and withdraw from the scene. Self-preservation is usually my motive because in family fights, quite often whoever is involved will die. Brothers trip out when a family member does some shady stuff. This type of behavior has been around since Cain and Able.
And so we come to hip hop.
Many people (myself included) believe that fighting a family member is very stupid if you’re a multi-millionaire. Why fight anyone when you can easily hop a flight to another location and be done with them for good? After all, if you’re the hip hop star, you’re usually holding all of the power and money. They have no choice but to go along with whatever move you make to cut them off.
But most artists don’t cut them off. Sob stories and nice memories of childhood experiences are used like magnets to tug upon the rapper’s heart strings and compel the rapper into staying around.
“Remember when we used to…” or “You remember how tight we were” always gets thrown into the rapper’s face. Some of those relationships are genuine, but a larger portion of the relationships are manufactured and embellished to get into the rapper’s pockets. You’d think rappers would learn.
But reality is a beast.
What burns so much about family disagreements is the fact that a family member, while in some cases coming from the same household, will burn you quicker than a stranger will. And that is the thing that burns a lot of rappers so much.
For instance, take Slick Rick… Dude went on trial in 1990 for accidentally shooting an innocent person. But his intended target was his cousin who allegedly set him up to be robbed. How’s that for protection?
Sometimes rappers have a lot of pain and anger in their hearts about their upbringing. Everyone knows the story of Marshal Mathers aka Eminem and the long beef he’s had with his mother. Slim Shady dissed his moms like crazy on his albums. And she came back at him in her own diss record (this has to be the first and only case of mom and son going at each other on wax). There was no physical altercation but sometimes mental pain is worse than physical because it lasts longer.
Then you have some rappers that go at family members because of financial exploitation. T-Pain (I know he’s not a rapper but he’s played in the genre so long, I’ll give him a pass on this one) has beef with his dad to this very day. His dad allegedly was trying to use him as an ATM and even allegedly offered that if T-Pain gave him a payoff of $250,000 he wouldn’t have to see him anymore. Man! Talk about pimp stuff.
But then you get some hip hop artists, or people that work within the realm of hip hop, to bring heat upon themselves. They reach a certain status and think they can just dump on family members. They want to get treated like royalty. Anyone that doesn’t do as the king or queen says, is banished forthwith from the kingdom forever. No cake, no concert tickets, no exclusive parties…
Which brings us to Benzino. The once head of Source Magazine, but current reality TV show diva. This story is so confusing and gutter that I could scarcely believe it happened.
On Sunday March 30, 2014 The Associated Press reported that while attending a funeral for his mother, Benzino was shot several times.
When I first read the story I was thinking it was on some previous stuff that Benzino had been spitting about. It’s no secret that he has a small booklet full of various beefs throughout the country based on his time with The Source Magazine and his uncontrollable ability to talk a lot of ish. Letting off rounds at a dude’s mom’s funeral was well in keeping with some gangsta street stuff.
But when I read that it was family, I was more than a little surprised. Really? At his mother’s funeral a family member would do this? Whoa! I’ve heard of family members getting into arguments and such but I think this one took things to a whole new level. Who does that? I did a little more searching because the incident had all of the markings of a young teenager who got amped by his friends. When other reports surfaced I read that Gai Scott, Benzino’s 36 year old cousin, allegedly confessed to the cops that he was guilty of shooting at the reality show star.
For real? A 36 year old dude is getting ignorant like that? I took a swig of my bottle of water and turned off my computer for the rest of the day.
Why did Benzino get shot? There are numerous speculations about what sparked this confrontation. Some say it was over money. Some say it was about disrespect. But one thing is clear. If you’re a rapper and you have a family that interacts with you on a regular basis, you’d better invest in some serious protective gear. Family squabbles have always been bad. But busting off at a family member while he’s at his mother’s funeral? We just went to another level.