Raymond Scott, better known by his stage name Benzino, is an American rapper, hip hop media executive, and record producer who has built an impressive net worth through his multifaceted career. Though controversial at times, Benzino has made major power moves over the last 30+ years to become an important figure in the world of hip hop.
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|Place of Birth:
|Edward DeJesus, Mary Scott
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Benzino Early Life
Benzino was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 18, 1965. His familial backgrounds include Cape Verdean, Puerto Rican, and African American roots. During his teenage years, Benzino was introduced to hip hop culture as the music started emerging from New York City and making its way up the East Coast.
He became enamored with rap music and the energy of the growing scene. While attending Harvard University to study business, Benzino met David Mays – the founder of hip hop publication The Source. This fateful meeting would plant the seeds for Benzino’s future media career.
Co-Owning The Source And Emergence As A Rapper
Though he did not graduate Harvard, Benzino leveraged his business studies and befriended David Mays, who had founded The Source in 1988 to provide authoritative coverage on hip hop music and culture.
From 1988 through 2001, Benzino worked closely with Mays as a silent partner to help grow The Source into the definitive hip-hop lifestyle publication. By the mid-90s, The Source had a circulation of over 250,000 readers.
Capitalizing on his growing industry influence, Benzino launched his own rap career in 1992 as a member of the Boston rap group the Almighty RSO. He went on to start the New York group Made Men alongside fellow rapper Antonio “Toni D” Davis in 1995.
Benzino jumpstarted his music career in Boston in the early 90s with the formation of rap group The Almighty RSO alongside Antonio “Toni D” Davis. They began gaining regional notoriety and set the stage for Benzino next moves.
Looking to make inroads in New York’s rap scene, Benzino co-founded rap group Made Men with Davis in 1995. Made Men released two full length albums – Classic Limited Edition (1995) and Goodfellas (1998) – featuring production work from Benzino team Hangmen 3.
Beyond performing, Benzino flexed his business acumen and music industry connections to build an East Coast rap empire. He partnered with university friend David Mays to turn The Source into the undisputed authority on hip-hop and R&B music and culture. From 1988 to 2001, Benzino was hands-on in guiding The Source to a peak circulation over 250,000.
The magazine’s influence and his production credentials provided the foundation for Benzino to launch his own label, Zino Records, to develop new hip-hop talent. He continues operating Zino and Hangmen 3 to promote up-and-coming artists and reboot his own rap career.
Benzino Personal Life
Benzino Net Worth 2023 his career, Benzino personal life has been filled with interpersonal conflicts, violence, legal troubles, and family trauma. He has children with three different partners – often straining those relationships. In one high-profile case, Benzino was accused of harming the mother of his second son during a heated argument.
Family tragedy struck in March 2014 when Benzino was shot in the shoulder at his mother’s funeral. The shooting was reportedly motivated by growing tensions between family members. He needed months of rehab but made a full recovery.
Legal issues have further plagued Benzino personal life. He was arrested in 2017 for damaging property during a dispute with family members in Atlanta. Additionally, Benzino pled guilty years earlier to charges related to conspiracy to distribute drugs. He has cited his difficult upbringing surrounded by poverty and violence in Boston housing projects as context for getting involved with illegal drug activity.
Details on Benzino early education are limited, but he has stated growing up in inner-city Boston neighborhoods and attended local schools. After completing high school, Benzino enrolled at Harvard University where he would meet his future business partner David Mays, who founded The Source magazine in 1988.
Though he did not graduate from Harvard, Benzino leveraged his business studies and connections with Mays to work his way up at The Source and make other power moves in the music industry.
There is no evidence Benzino attended Columbia University as stated. His hands-on work experience and business acumen were more instrumental in his professional growth than his formal college education.
What Is Benzino Net Worth 2023
Reports on Benzino current net worth vary widely, though most estimates land between $1 million to $10 million. At the start of 2023, celebrity net worth sites circulated figures around $1 million based on his assets and known income streams.
However, throughout his decades-long career, Benzino Net Worth 2023 has built fortune through diverse business ventures, including:
Music sales & streaming royalties as a solo artist and formerly with rap groups Made Men and Almighty RSO Income from The Source magazine during his 13 years as silent partner from 1988-2001
Record label and talent management via his company Zino Records
Reality TV salary from starring on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta since 2012
Considering the combination of these assets and ownership stakes, several industry insiders have estimated Benzino’s net worth could exceed $10 million.
Now in his late 50’s, Benzino Net Worth 2023 has seen extreme ups and downs throughout his long run in hip hop spotlight. Getting in early on media ventures ahead of hip hop’s rise to a cultural institution put benzino in position to build his fortune. But embracing controversy proved a double edged sword. Conflicts ended up overshadowing accomplishments and likely capped benzino wealth substantially below his actual earnings potential. Still, compared many late career rappers, benzino has shown savvy maintaining multi-millionaire status even after fade from his 90’s prominence.