Former Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star Benzino is weighing in on the Will Smith/Chris Rock slap debacle at the 2022 Oscars. Smith slapped Rock after he made a joke about his wide Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head. In a recent sit-down with VladTV, The Source publisher compared Smith slapping Rock to the events that led seemingly led to Tupac Shakur's murder in 1996. The rapper was shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas after leaving the MGM Grand following the Bruce Seldon vs. Mike Tyson fight. Hours before the shooting, Tupac and his entourage jumped Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, a known Southside Compton Crip gang member, in the hotel lobby over an alleged chain-snatching that occurred at a strip mall the same week. Anderson was killed two years later, but several people have come forward to allege that Anderson was behind the trigger that killed Tupac. According to Benzino, Smith could have suffered the same fate.
"People gotta understand, this is how 2Pac got killed," Benzino said. "It was at an event, they seen somebody that supposedly took a chain, they jumped him. Then later on, 'Pac got shot up in a car. That s— could've happened to Will Smith!"
Benzino says the severe outcome of that was not something people thought about. He feels Smith could have handled things differently.
"When I hear people say — especially women — 'he deserved it', I'm like, what if Will left, had gone to the party and then Will Smith's car got shot up like 2Pac's? Then everybody's mourning and going crazy," he added. "No, it shouldn't have happened. Will should have held some constraint and some professionalism, and if it was that bad, bring your wife and check him backstage. I know I couldn't have got the shit slapped out of me by a man and just would've stood up there like that, and [Chris Rock] had his hands in his pocket. I don't think we've heard the last of it from Chris Rock."
Smith has since apologized and resigned from the Academy altogether. Pinkett Smith has not commented publicly on the matter.