Michael Jackson was known as the King of Pop, but was he secretly the King of Petty? According to hip-hop media titan Benzino, that might be true. Many stories about the musician have emerged, including how the “Bad” singer was almost run over by actor Jason Bateman on a bicycle. Now, Benzino is sharing one of his own.
“Let me tell you, Michael Jackson called me,” the former Source co-owner said during a Tuesday (April 11) episode of The Gauds Show podcast. “I knew Mike. I met Mike through Teddy [Riley]. He called me and he thanked me. Because when Eminem dissed him with the fire situation, in the [‘Just Lose It’] video, Mike called — and I remember his assistant put him on the phone — and I sat there and listened to him. And he thanked me.”
The Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star continued, saying the King Of Pop also ranted about Tommy Mottola, the former Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Group.
Benzino went on to clarify his own feelings about white people in Hip-Hop. “And I’m not saying it because all white people are bad. We’re not saying that. Not all of them are devils. […] Black people got Hip Hop and we got white people to finally buy into it. […] When Eminem came out, he just got different treatment than every other Black rapper. And I just didn’t appreciate that.”
Michael Jackson and Eminem were at odds following the latter’s depiction of the former in his controversial 2004 music video. “Just Lose It” referenced MJ’s alleged inappropriate relationships with young boys, his plastic surgeries, and the time when his hair caught on fire during a 1984 commercial shoot for Pepsi.
The Thriller artist attempted to have networks stop showing the music video and BET eventually complied. Representation on Eminem’s side felt that Jackson was infringing upon the “Lose Yourself” artist’s freedom of speech and taking obvious jokes too seriously.