Ray Benzino
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work every day and you’re spending eight hours with somebody at work and maybe y’all develop a relationship and you’re working there for 10 years, I mean who knows? I feel like that could happen. It’s not out of the ordinary. I know nobody likes to think or talk about it, but that’s why I think what Stevie’s done is so groundbreaking, because it really provokes thought and conversation on a subject that everybody looks at as taboo.

EBONY: The Monday night Facebook conversations are real, that’s for sure.

Benzino: I think people, when they say something about Stevie, Joseline and Mimi, I think they really venting somehow, some way, about their own situation or something that they went through. At the end of the day, it’s entertainment. They’re all great people, all of ‘em. I mean, I’ve pretty much gotten close with the whole cast now and they’re all really, really great people.

EBONY: Are you gonna come back for season two?

Benzino: Guess what? They just told me yes!

EBONY: Yes? Oh good. Congratulations. Is the whole cast coming back?

Benzino: Yes.

EBONY: That’s fantastic.

Benzino: Yup. I guess they figured if it ain’t broke, why try to fix it?

EBONY: So how soon will you guys go into production for it? People are frothing at the mouth for more of this show...

Benzino:I think we start shooting at the end of October. They’re already shooting New York.

EBONY: One reason this show is so good is because 90 percent of the people, we had no idea who they were before airing...

Benzino: No one!

EBONY: That’s probably why it’s so good, no one really had much to lose, so they could put themselves out there.

Benzino: Yep. Instead of a cast member that you might’ve already known or heard recordings, it’s like you now are a part of this person from the beginning. People really gravitate to the characters because it’s the first time that everybody is really kind of seeing these people for the most part, so it’s like you can grab some type of relationship with them from the start.

EBONY: Seeing you on the show was a shocker, though.

Benzino: I think all the controversy has overshadowed a lot of things. I can take responsibility

EBONY: Last question: thoughts on the Love and Hip Hop Atlanta parody video?

Benzino: Honestly, it’s like South Park. I cry tears, literally. They’re super amazing.

EBONY: So you’ve got a great sense of humor, then.

Benzino: You know what? You have to. It can’t be all serious all the time. When I look at some of my old interviews, I was just angry. I was angry and I didn’t know how to express my anger other than lashing out. That whole Eminem thing … I basically already went on MTV and apologized. I thought some of the shots I took at Em and maybe his fam and his daughter was definitely out of order. You know? I would love to personally apologize to him. Because he’s an incredible lyricist, he’s a great influence on the culture and he should be able to express himself the same way anybody else should. As time goes on, you look at things different, you start looking at things through your kids eyes, and like I said, you just start really appreciating your surroundings and understanding who is around you and just because you feel that way, you don’t have to be Paul Revere and scream it out to everybody. And some things are just best kept quiet, unsaid.