D12’s Mr. Porter recently reflected on his loyalty toward Eminem and what it meant to be alongside the Shady Records CEO side during early 2000’s beefs ranging from Murder Inc. conflicts to Benzino.
A firm believer in loyalty, Porter said D12 always had Em’s back no matter the dispute.
“I think that in this business, you going to run into those things, and you just hope that it doesn’t get to a point that it gets to sometimes. Any rap beef or whatever they call it these days, its natural to be that way, especially when you’re young and rah rah rah. You ain’t gonna let nobody talk about you and take you out. I think that’s what Em’s position most of the time was, and our position as a label, was defending ourselves. That’s how I always looked at it. If you saying something about Em, you’re saying something about us. And if you saying something about us, you saying something about him. Ultimately, when I think about it now, it could have went different. It could have went a lot worse. We won.” (XXL Mag)
A bit more direct, Porter called out ex-owners Benzino and Dave Mays for previously using The Source magazine to wage war against Slim Shady.
“I don’t think anybody should take a position-magazines or whatever-to try and destroy anybody,” Porter added. “You can’t. You can’t do that. You can’t take a piece of power that you have and misuse it, and that’s what they did. They tried to make it a racial issue at one point. But look man, dude is fresh. You can’t take that talent away from him. Put him up against whatever, you can’t take that talent away. That’s my homie. F*ck everything else. I’ve seen that since he helped me get my first real job, and showed me how to make sure I went to that job-as a person. Outside of what I knew as a father, my own father was a great father, and having him as a friend and he’s such a great father, helped me become the person I am today. You can’t take that away from him. There was one point in time where a lot of DJs were beefing with rappers and I was like, this is stupid. We’re destroying the culture. That ain’t what Kool Herc and them dudes built. We started misusing it. When you look at those beefs, how they went, they were incorrect. They were morally incorrect.” (XXL Mag)
Em and Zino’s publicized beef made headlines throughout 2002.
The Source was publishing articles critical of Eminem (e.g., “The Unbearable Whiteness of Emceeing: What the Eminence of Eminem Says About Race”); in one issue, the magazine even included a pullout poster of Benzino holding up Eminem’s severed head. Finally, Eminem responded with two songs, “The Sauce” and “Nail in the Coffin,” the former attacking the credibility of The Source and the latter ridiculing Benzino as a rapper (e.g., “This motherf*cker, man, just won’t shut up, will you?/Talk about I owe you; b*tch, you owe me!/I’m promoting you right now/Man, let’s put the nail in his coffin”). (All Music)
Remaining beef-free these days, Em talked about almost dissing Kanye West and Lil Wayne on wax last summer.
“When I made the record, ‘Talkin’ To Myself,’ what I was basically talking about was the time period that I was away, I was kinda watching what was going on in the game and it was like, anything that was hot at that moment or anybody who was really killing sh*t at that moment, I felt so bad about myself and the music that I was creating that I felt like I was starting to turn into a hater,” Em told radio personality Big Boy. “It wasn’t just, singling Lil Wayne and Kanye West at that time period, they were the ones killing it the most, to me, and it hurt. And it was like, ‘F*ck man, I’m not doing it good’ I felt like I came really close, for me, it would have been career suicide. I felt like making a song just dissing everybody who’s doing it in the game right now. I just had the thoughts, walking around in the studio, I think deep down, I wasn’t happy with myself.” (Radio Big Boy)
Check out Eminem’s “Nail in the Coffin” Benzino diss below: