AllHipHop.com: You got a segment on your show called “Real Talk,” so we need to have to real talk on some issues. You were talking greasier than cheesesteak meat about Benzino and The Source magazine a couple weeks ago. He recently did an interview with us and said he used to pay you to play records. He also had some words for Angie too.
Funkmaster Flex: [Laughs] Let me just go on the record, you the got recorder rolling? Benzino might be the worst rapper to ever grab the microphone in the history of Rap. That’s real. He’s been on a lot of labels. He’s been on Interscope. Motown. They’ve put out stuff out themselves. Tommy Boy Records. He’s been in Made Men, the Almighty RSO, Hangmen 3. Let me be real honest with you. I never want to be nasty to someone for no reason. Me and Benzino have talked about Hip-Hop music in the station. He knows his Hip-Hop culture, like Cold Crush 4, you know, as a fan. I remember Dave [Mays] walking around with that magazine, pioneering and saying Hip-Hop is important. I never want to take that away from people and what that was in the beginning. Remember, we had a lot of magazines that said they were about the music, but they didn’t maintain. That magazine had to learn the corporate game and do what they had to do to put it down. And I give them all the respect. [But] for him to get four and a half mics, people work too hard for the music for that. I’m going to talk real talk for a minute. To perform on your awards show is corny, and it really is. Forget Flex and everybody, you messing it up for the kids. You give Outkast’s album such and such mics, and and his album gets the same amount mics, thats not cool. I think its turned into a tabloid magazine that doesn’t tell the truth. You can accuse me of payola all you want. You think people paid me to play Biggie’s “Juicy”? Onyx and Naughty? Jay-Z? G-Unit? 50 Cent? These records were big from mixtapes. Dipset, Cam. He says that Bad Boy, Jay-Z, and G-Unit paid to get their records played so he sleeps better at night. I think I need real support on this one. I think we should print this.
[Flex continues to ask all the other journalists and staff in the room one by one if they own a Benzino album. Everyone says no.]
Funkmaster Flex: And you know something, everyone has a moment were they do something they are not good at it. I used to try to produce tracks; I tried it for a while. I’m not good at it. And you when you realize that, lets move on. I mean the guy must be horrible at ten things. Benzino, I’m not about the tough guy talk. Because the fake tough guy talk, and then talking about Angie Martinez is a little p*ssy. That doesn’t go well. Not cool. To take it back to where I’m talking about how wack of a rapper he is, back to wack rapping. Don’t talk tough and then saying you suing people. That’s ass. I’m going tell you something. Benzino went to Boston and went up to DJ Enuff. DJ Enuff ignored him. You want to know how I know, because all my mens were there – ready to stomp him down. He went up to poly with Enuff. Enuff was like, “Eyo, I’m like kind of busy. I’m going to take it even further: Benzino was in there with security because his security guard knew Enuff’s security guard. I know what’s going on out here, B. He was polying, so nothing happened. First of all with Chubby Chub, you going call being six deep popping s**t to a guy by himself and you’re a tough guy? That’s not tough, B. He should be embarrassed as a magazine owner, as a rapper, well he’s not a rapper, but as magazine owner to be even give that energy off – putting that on websites.
AllHipHop.com: What about his allegations on pay-for-play?
Funkmaster Flex: I’ve broken a lot of records, I been big in the clubs for years. I don’t need to take money from people. I make club money. If I DJ someplace or if I DJ a college, they pay me to come spin. You know what technically, when these rappers put out hot records, if I play them right, I get gigs. So I don’t have to take money from them. I’m not saying payola doesn’t exist. People do offer me money, especially in their young stage with their first single. They ask me, What does it take, what do I have to do? Sometimes they’ll send people and try to give me a watch or money. That’s ridiculous. How come nobody has come forth and said that they have given me these things? Because it doesnt exist! He can say what he wants to say, but what he really wants to say is Flex, you’re such a big DJ out there, why dont you play my records? A grown man should be embarrassed to first beg another individual to play his record and then when he doesn’t to move like this. I’d be embarrassed to move like that. And talking about people like Angie, Angie doesn’t bother nobody. Angie and her husband work real hard to take care of their little boy. For him to say to something like that is real nasty. No one says anything about his son. He takes care of his son; he doesn’t want anyone saying something about his son. For him to say something Angie’s son and who’s the father is mad nasty. You don’t get any props for that.
AllHipHop.com: What about his problems with other people?
Funkmaster Flex: I’m going make it official, and after AllHipHop.com, I’m not going to address him anymore. Saying like that was totally uncalled for. Just because Steve Stoute came up to the show. So you borrowed money from Steve Stoute? You bought his Bentley, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. He’s a confused dude. And then battling Eminem? Eminem uplifted the Rap game to further heights. What’s your excuse for 50 Cent? He’s an African American. What’s your excuse now? What’s the problem? When 50 goes on Letterman, and sits in that seat after he shoots a movie, with Hip-Hop clothing, his hat and his jewelry, he’s standing up there for all of us. That was an excuse and cheap cop out by Benzino. To say, because he’s White? Oh, you know what, he said something in the record and everyone wants to exploit the record. Or he what said something about a girl. I didn’t even hear the record. I don’t understand, there’s been worst said. It’s like saying if you read a Hitler book, you a Nazi. 50, Dr. Dre, Emimen put out good music, that tops the charts. 50 making people look at him. Hey, he’s been shot, he’s been in jail and he’s not compromising for it. He’s not apologizing for it. He’s not saying oh what for I did I’m sorry, nah this is me. And you know what, f**k Samuel Jackson, n***a you a bitch! When you said you didnt want to be in it, that was roach. I’ve been dying to say that. You played yourself, n***a. He could of positioned that better. I’m a big fan of Gene Hackman. And I think Gene Hackman did a movie with Tom Cruise. He said something key. Tom Cruise was going to get top billing. He said I didn’t want to be in the movie, he said I would rather my name not be on it at all, don’t bill me. I’ll shoot the movie, but I would rather not be billed under Tom Cruise. Man, to me that was classy. That means Tom, I have nothing against you and I going to do this movie and I’m going be your great supporting actor. But for billing, don’t bill be at all. Samuel could of said that. I guess he wanted to work that director or that guy any way all his life. Evidently, the director you look up to wants to work with 50 you dumb ass, why wouldn’t you want to work with him? It not like Ice Cube and Will Smith are not proven. It’s not like 50 is a f**king test dummy. That was a little roach. Back to what I was saying. I don’t think Hip-Hop is big enough to have a magazine that is becoming a tabloid. I don’t think that’s good. Between Vibe and XXL, we need everything that we can get to propel us where we need to get.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, more real talk for you. Story has it that KRS-One took a job at Warner Brother Records where he became a label executive. Allegedly, he told Lee Bailey of the EUR Report that he had given one of your companies forty thousand dollars with the understanding that you would play some of the artists on the label.
Funkmaster Flex: Here’s a good question for Kris. If you paid for something that didn’t happen, and there was an understanding, why weren’t records played? I don’t understand where this came from? Now, I’m going tell you about the company. Franchise Marketing has done J-Lo’s perfume. I put up poster boards; I’ve had vans in ten markets where you can advertise your album coming out. I have in over 10-15 markets. That what I do for Castrol [oil], that’s what I do for Ford. In the middle 90’s, I did it for Twix, Motorola, Mountain Dew, Blaze Magazine when they were out. If you say, Flex, how can I buy your vans and have all my album release dates on them. I’ll be like, You can buy all the vans, you can do this, you can do that. What markets you want to be in? Also, I’m not on the radio in DC, Baltimore, Virginia, so how the f**k can you pay for play in those states? How does that even make sense? For KRS-One, if he ever wants to debate this with me – he’s talking real good on the internet. Why would anybody, especially KRS-One – man, in 1991, it was honor when KRS would call my office. My employees would be like, Yo, KRS-One is on the phone. How can I even put that together in my mouth. It sounds stupid. Don’t ever degrade my company. I’ve worked hard to promote, to put things out, to get to be here. Castro, Lugz, all these companies wouldn’t do business with me if I didn’t know what I was doing, if I didn’t know how to market their products. No DJ does more nightclubs than me. My street team comes with me to the clubs; they promote everything else that I am doing. For Spike TV, I also promote TV shows that I have nothing to do with. I have never had a project that I have only was supposed to locally. So for KRS-One, when he wants to talk about this, I’ll talk about it with him. The only thing is in KRS-One’s favor, is that I’ve never heard him saying it. It’s writers saying it.