Coi Leray and Benzino’s Familial Relationship Teaches Us to Stop Competing with Our Kids

cheerful mother and son competing in arm wrestling

If you’re a parent, then the tale of Coi Leray and her father should be a valuable life lesson on why it’s not a good idea to compete with your kids.


by Ivy Locke | Ivy Locke is a freelance writer and journalist with over a decade of varied experience. A true intellectual and comedian at heart, she enjoys writing on entertainment-related topics as well as profound think pieces. In the future, she hopes to join the ranks of other best-selling authors and film/TV writers. Follow her on Twitter @THEEIVYLOCKE.

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No matter how you feel about her music, Coi Leray is definitely an up-and-coming rap artist who has taken the industry by storm. One of the most impressive aspects of her story is that she relied on her own talents rather than her father’s industry connections to earn her position on the charts.

But Benzino may have been trying to compete with his daughter for the spotlight. It’s starting to seem that all of his public antics and outbursts were not coincidental. And at the risk of going out on a limb, maybe, just maybe, he did so because he was actually jealous that his daughter was able to create the rap career he always wanted. 

The History of Benzino

Although it’s certainly not due to a lack of effort, the bulk of Benzino’s notoriety comes from his work as a magazine mogul. Notably, he co-owned the revolutionary hip-hop magazine, The Source and owned the relatively successful publication Hip-Hop Weekly until it was acquired in 2016. Additionally, he became a household name as Stevie J’s right-hand man on Love and Hip Hop, a role that lasted for three seasons. 

Benzino’s name was etched into quasi-hip-hop history, somewhere between his long-standing beef with rapping vet Eminem, and his appearance with his child’s mother on Couple’s Bootcamp. However, it seems that his first love has always been hip-hop. He did have a bonafide hit in 2002–featuring Teddy Riley, “Boottee,” but other than that, most of his music has fallen flat. 

He has recorded and released other music such as this hidden gem, “Bigger Picture,” which seemed to fall on blind eyes and deaf ears. It appears that despite his success in other areas, his ultimate goal was to become more than a one-hit-wonder. 

The History of Coi

On the other hand, Coi Leray got her start by writing and recording music. After working hard behind the scenes, she emerged to release her music, which was received pretty well by the public. Unlike her father, the public took to her music right off the bat. After having some viral success, she officially released music that got some rave reviews. 

Far from a one-hit-wonder, some of her top songs to date are “No More Parties,” “Better Days,” “Huddy,” “No Longer Mine,” and “Froze.” Best of all, she managed to do most of this without riding on her father’s coattails. Now, you would think that her dad would be proud of this–instead, he seemed to go above and beyond to undermine her budding career. 

The Competition

Perhaps, Benzino was triggered by her lyrics in the “No More Parties” remix featuring Lil’ Durk, when she said, “My daddy let me down, but I promise you, I won’t let up / I wanna say f*** that man but the s*** won’t make me better.” And while most of us probably didn’t realize Coi Leray was Benzino’s daughter, she obviously has a story to tell. 

As her star continued to climb, so did the size of his antics. After a public rant in which he attempted to blame his poor relationship with his daughter on fans and the internet, Coi responded with her own retort, asserting that the truth was anything but. But all this pales in comparison to the things that unfolded in 2022. 

Nicki Et. Al

It was Benzino who spilled the beans on Coi’s super top-secret collaboration with Legendary hip-hop icon, Nicky Minaj. This was poised to be a major move for the industry newbie. Given that Nicki prefers the element of surprise, he likely almost ruined his daughter’s chances entirely. This moment was probably going to be used to fuel the success of her upcoming project. However, given that the news had already been leaked, the moment was very anticlimactic. 

The negative publicity did not stop there. Benzino was allegedly outed by a trans woman he was pursuing. He got into a public spat with his child’s mother Althea and her new beau. Of course, there was the random re-emergence of an embarrassing old video of him getting kicked out of the Red Roof Inn. And then another public spat with his daughter over her defense of Eminem. Finally, there was the moment he turned himself into the police for the Althea spat.

After all that, even I started to wonder if someone was targeting poor ‘Zino on purpose. However, my faith in him was dashed when he started to randomly release new music. There was the weird video of him lip-syncing and smoking in a car, and then the 50 Cent diss, which got me thinking. Maybe all of this was done to undermine his daughter’s success. As someone who owned a couple of magazines in the past, I’m sure he knows how the media and publicity work. And it seems like he decided that he would use his daughter as leverage to pull himself up or drag her down with his already sunken ship. 

Follow Your Dreams

If you’re a parent or plan to be a parent one day, the most important thing you can do is follow your dreams with all your might. If you do, you will never have to worry about lamenting over what you should’ve, could’ve, or would’ve done.

Although Benzino was successful in the magazine industry, his big mistake was not fully pursuing his music career. One may argue that his magazines are why he is known to begin with. But if he had spent the same time and energy on making music, he would have likely realized better results. 

When you give your all to a goal, one of two things will happen–success or failure. It is far easier to move on with your life when you know you gave it all you had, then to live in a dream never worked for. Unfortunately, Benzino’s antics seem to result from the fact that he never truly took his music career seriously.

Now that Coi Leray has the career her father always wanted, Benzino seems to be on a downward spiral, trying to turn back time and reclaim his dreams of hip-hop greatness. While I do believe that you can achieve goals at any age, it’s time for ‘Zino to at least consider switching genres, and to stop competing with his daughter.


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