Interview: Benzino Talks "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta," Reality TV Romance, and Watching the Show With His Kids

Interview: Benzino Talks "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta," Reality TV Romance, and Watching the Show With His Kids

In the last episode before the finale, Joseline comes to your house and you just look bothered. You ask her if she’s having sex with Stevie or making love. Who do you think is the better fit for Stevie?
Joseline went through a lot coming up and she has no problem with telling you that and that she’s trying to change her life. Joseline being young, she has a lot of stuff to work out within herself. What I like about Joseline is that for as much as she might say stuff about Stevie, she still builds him up and gives him the props. Stevie is a Grammy-winning producer and he’s done a lot of great stuff in the music industry and that gets lost within all this craziness. I think Mimi, having the baby, genuinely loves Stevie beyond the industry stuff.

When you look at it, if you could put them together and make one superwoman... [Laughs.] Mimi has great things for Stevie and Joseline has great things. It’s really going to be a decision for Stevie J. It’s not easy being a producer in this industry and whether it’s this industry or if you’re an athlete, it’s hard because there’s women all around at the time. It’s an issue of Stevie finding himself and finding what he wants.

 

Stevie is a Grammy-winning producer and he’s done a lot of great stuff in the music industry and that gets lost within all this craziness.

 

Do you think he will?
I’ve known Stevie J for a long time and it’s really about how the day goes. He’s a great father to his children and he’s God fearing. I hope he does choose and I hope that he finds what he’s looking for because everybody deserves to be happy. The women, whether its Joseline or Mimi, it’s the same for them. Whoever he doesn’t choose, I’m sure there’s a man out there for them that will give them the love they deserve.

Is Stevie still staying with you now?
No, Stevie’s got his own place now. [Laughs.]

That’s good.
He’s got his own crib. I had a big spot so it wasn’t like he was on the couch. I got a pretty big crib. Stevie’s my man and I’m sure if I was in a situation where I needed to stay, friends are there for friends.

In a recent interview that Stevie and Joseline did on ThisIs50 radio, they just didn’t have nice things to say about Karlie. What was your reaction to that? He was imitating her singing.
I was a little bit surprised with that because Stevie doesn’t want anybody doing that to Joseline. He doesn’t want nobody talking about Joseline and what she does. For him to do that to Karlie,  I was a little bit surprised at that but people are going to say what they want to say based on their mood at the moment. If that’s what they think about Karlie’s music, they have their opinion.

Everybody’s going to have opinions. That’s the world. Karlie looks at it and it just motivates her to put out bigger songs and do better. You have to use negativity as motivation to prove them wrong. That’s just bottom line. Karlie Redd’s skin is thick. I can’t say that enough. She’s a pretty strong woman. I don’t think that bothered her so much.

What’s next for you after the show?
Of course, we have Hip Hop Weekly magazine. I’m coming out with a new album. I’m doing some things with my friend and mentor Kedar Massenburg. He’s been very instrumental. When I was signed as a solo artist at Motown, I did really well with him. He’s someone I look up to business-wise and there’s a lot of opportunities and doors that will be opening so people will be looking out for Benzino.

A lot of the songs [on the new album] are based around women. That’s my whole thing now. I’ve been through relationships and a lot of stuff. You can probably expect an album coming out the first of next year. I’ll be throwing out singles and just getting out there and doing my thing. There’s a second season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta coming out and I would love to do some acting stuff. There’s a whole new life for Benzino and I’m just soaking it all in. God is great.

Tags: benzino, love-and-hip-hop-atlanta, stevie-j, vh1
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