Benzino didn’t bite his tongue for one second on the most recent episode of “Drink Champs.” In his fourth appearance on the show, he joined N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN to talk about a bevy of topics.

To most, Zino is known as the co-owner of The Source. The once-coveted Hip Hop magazine reigned in the 1990s with columns like Unsigned Hype that spotlighted acts such as The Notorious B.I.G. for the first time. Not to mention, the publication’s five-mic rating system that artists took very seriously. He also gained respect in the business early on through his rap career with the group The Almighty RSO, who inked a number of record deals between the ‘80s and ‘90s.

These days, Benzino is still a part of entertainment and rap culture. He’s living in the South with his longtime girlfriend and making appearances on “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.” His daughter, Coi Leray, is also finding success as a platinum-selling artist herself. Despite the fact that Benzino is now in a position to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor, he still has a fire in his spirit that was fully on display throughout this conversation.

Below are nine major takeaways from the “Drink Champs” discussion. Watch the full episode here.

1. On the upcoming Source Awards documentary

Benzino revealed early on that there’s a documentary in the works about the Source Awards. “It really focuses around the ‘95 and a little bit of the ‘94. Because that ‘95 one was when, you know, it kind of changed Hip Hop. That’s when Suge [Knight] said what he said. The OutKast moment. But when you look at it in the significance of that night, it really was the first time that a lot of artists seen each other,” he recalled. “It’s kinda like when Hip Hop went national, when it really wasn’t just New York anymore.” Benzino also doubled down on the idea that André 3000’s famous line — “The South has something to say”— was directed at the former magazine co-owner (as a result of intervening to prevent the Atlanta duo from scoring five mics on their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik). He then issued a public apology to both OutKast and the genre of rap for sleeping on them.

2. On inventing the hip hop award show

The very first Source Awards was held on “Yo! MTV Raps” back in 1991. However, it wasn’t until years later that actual production was put behind the ceremony. How did it get to that point? Benzino answered, “The reason that we did an award show was because of the Grammys, of how the Grammys was disrespecting Hip Hop.” He continued with his thought process at the time: “We could do the same thing. ‘Soul Train’ [has] been doing it for years. We could take that blueprint of you get celebrities to come and give out the awards, you have performances, and you pick who wins the awards… I felt like there was no way that a national platform and white folks was giving us a chance to really shine. And I just felt like it was time.” When N.O.R.E. asked Benzino if he was responsible for inventing the Hip Hop award show altogether, Zino responded, “Yes, hands down.”

3. On almost signing to Eazy-E

Benzino went down memory lane and discussed how he and The Almighty RSO had a deal on the table with Eazy-E before he passed away. “He was a God to us, to Boston, the gangsta rap scene. And we was about to be on Ruthless Records… our first album,” Zino voiced. “It was going to be $175,000, our first deal. This was like ‘92, ‘93.” Around that time, Eazy was hospitalized but ensured that upon his release, they could still get the deal signed. Soon after, Benzino got a call from David Mays and found out that Eazy unfortunately passed away. “Eazy signed over everything to Ron Sweeney and Tomica on his f**king death bed. They didn’t honor our contract, signed [Bone Thugs-N-Harmony], and we was left in the f**king…,” Benzino said before letting the thought fall off. “I was mad as a muthaf**ka.”

4. On collaborating with Tupac

In the heyday of Benzino’s rap career with The Almighty RSO, he was recruited to do a song with Tupac by The Flavor Unit’s Shakim Compere. “I went there and when I walked in, he was in the booth with no shirt on [and] a f**king Sinbad sword,” Benzino began. “I was nervous as hell because I wasn’t even the best lyricist in my group.” He then got into the moment when Pac showed up to a session at Power Play Studios with Stretch, Live Squad, Mopreme and the DJ of Brand Nubian, Alamo. “Pac came in and ripped that s**t,” Benzino remembered of the recording process for their collaboration “Killer.” The song never saw an official release, which prompted him to add, “Later on, I tried to put another beat on it and get clearance, and I got sued by Afeni [Shakur] and we had to give her $150,000. That’s a different story.”

5. On why he really feels a way about Eminem

Benzino and Eminem have been at odds with one another for decades now, ever since The Source rated The Eminem Show four mics out of five. It goes a little deeper than that though, apparently. The Boston native opened up about the origin story of their beef and suggested that Eminem’s success was meant to divide Black and White people. “I don’t like him and I don’t like what he stands for,” he said.

Later, he dug deeper, stating, “Eminem ain’t no bad person. He belongs in Hip Hop. It’s a big racist problem in America right now and Eminem could probably stop half of it.”

To be even clearer, he added, “I don’t have nothing against Eminem. That n**ga can rap. But I care about us more.” Lastly, he said that he is in fact willing to make amends.

6. On Coi Leray

Benzino and Coi Leray have made headlines over the last few years for publicly going at one another. But the proud father confirmed during his interview that it’s nothing but love between the two, despite what it looks like. When talking about the first time he saw his daughter perform at Rolling Loud in 2023, Benzino said, “That was one of the greatest moments of my life.” He went on to address the fan speculation about their relationship: “I love Coi. How the f**k could anybody think that I don’t love my daughter? Everybody goes through the same s**t… It’s just that my s**t is on the internet.”

7. On the criticism of his neck

Some fans have joked that Benzino doesn’t have a regular neck size. In one of the funnier moments of the interview, he took some time to address the criticism. “N**gas wanna talk about my neck, I got a f**king neck. Everybody has a f**king neck. It’s what the f**king head sits on,” he said before sending a stray at a well-known NFL legend. “Shannon Sharpe’s neck is as big as mine — y’all don’t say nothing about Shannon Sharpe!” He ended, “N**gas is mad because they mothers like me and they sisters like me.”

8. On getting dropped from his record deal for addressing police brutality

In light of Ice-T’s “Cop Killer,” Benzino and The Almighty RSO released a song called “One In The Chamba,” where they talked about fighting back against the corruption of cops. The group got sued by the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association for inciting violence and as a result, they were released from their deal with Tommy Boy Records. Angered, they pulled up to the office to attack the label head Tom Silverman, but the fight never actually went down because Benzino was blinded by the presence of someone he looked up to. “J Prince is my f**king hero… We loved J Prince because it was all ghetto boys and the gangsta s**t,” he explained. “I was so amazed at J Prince that Tom Silverman weaseled his way out of there.” In all, he noted, “J Prince saved Tom Silverman from the worst beating of his life.”

9. On the current state of the Black community

In a very emotional ending, Benzino shared his opinion on the current state of the Black community and how the internet is sinking the ship even more. “We’re failing as a people… We’re great, we’re amazing people. We are the blueprint. Why do we continue to disrespect each other? And kill each other?” he asked. “There’s no leadership no more.” DJ EFN tried to interrupt, but Zino went on with a declarative outro stating all melanated people should go back to leading with love and keeping the sophistication high.