The Impact of Celebrity Parents on Black Artists' Careers


Oct. 15 2023, Published 3:32 p.m. ET

Coi Leray has had to work hard at every turn to make her rap career a success. And, even though her father, Benzino helped her get started, it is through hard work that she has made it this far.

As an entertainer having celebrity parents can be beneficial. In addition to being an inspiration, they can help you navigate the tricky world of show business. However, this is not always the case.

Here’s a look at how such parents impact the careers of their children – with a focus on Coi Leray and her celebrity father, Benzino.

Who is Leray's Father?

Benzino was the cofounder of Source magazine – in its heyday, it was one of the most popular publications in the world of hip-hop. Benzino has also had a successful career as a rapper. Lastly, he is a TV personality, having appeared in the “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta” show.

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Benzino’s Impact on Coi Leray’s Music Career

Leray’s father has had a huge impact on her music career. However, whether that has always been beneficial is up to anyone’s guess.

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Nurturing Talent

Given his profile in the entertainment world, Benzino should be a huge asset to his daughter, who is trying to rise to the highest echelons of the rap game. Initially, this was the case – as it was on her father’s YouTube channel that Leray (who was 14 at the time) and Chavo made their debut track “Bow Down”. The young female rapper even followed up this initial effort with her own solo debut “Rock Back” on the same channel. At this stage, the young female rapper appeared to be close to her father, even after her parents had divorced.

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Building Hostility

Fast-forward to now and the relationship between the two appears to have turned sour. Their explosive social media exchanges appear to paint a picture of two people in a feud. Leray has accused her father of being absent in her life when she was growing up – leaving the family languishing financially. In her song “No More Parties” Leray raps about her father letting her down when she needed him.

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Leray even went as far as to say that her father was envious of her success, instead of being happy for her and celebrating everything she had achieved.

In the IRL podcast hosted by Angie Martinez, she said that she felt as if her father’s criticisms and negativity came from a place of jealousy. However, she did not bear him a grudge going as far as to excuse his reactions with, "which is OK ’cause he's human and it's fine.” To explain, the rapper said that in her mind, it was as if her father felt that he still had a story to tell.

A while back, Benzino’s involvement in the “Players” rapper music career threatened to torpedo an upcoming project “Blick Blick” with Nicki Minaj when he prematurely announced details of the project before the artists did. While Nicki had threatened to pull out of the project, she decided to give Leray a chance.

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