Geraldo Rivera slams Kemdrick Lamar.
Previously reported, Lamar recently dropped his new album, “Damn,” on which he took a number of jabs at Fox News, including reporter, Geraldo Rivera. A broadcast in which Rivera takes issue with Lamar’s performance of “Alright” at the BET Awards in 2015 is sampled on the album’s opening track and on “DNA.” Furthermore, on “YAH,” the Cali native calls Rivera out by saying: “Fox News wanna use my name for percentage… Somebody tell Geraldo this nigga got ambition.”
Needless to say, Rivera wasn’t feeling Lamar’s comments. On Saturday, April 15, Rivera took to Facebook, where he responded to Lamar’s diss, by doubling down on the comments he made back in 2015. “This is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism in recent years. This is exactly the wrong message,” he said.
In the clip, Rivera went on to describe the track as “benign.” In a strange turn of events, the journalist continued by complimenting Lamar’s talent, before admitting that “aside from Drake, in my opinion, [he’s] probably the best hip-hop artist out there today.” Still, it is Rivera’s belief that rap music sets up an “us against them” mentality: “I think too much of hip-hop, too much of rap in the last couple of decades has really portrayed the cops as the enemy, as the occupying army in the ghetto, in the inner city, in the urban centers. It’s an us against them where this very popular, powerful art form, this poetry, is being used to really set young people, young minorities — black and Latinos, principally — against the officers who are sworn to protect them.”
Per Rivera, rappers have perpetuated this anti-cop message over-the-years — before Lamar’s reign. While he claimed to understand why minorities are fearful of police, he went on to state police brutality “pales in comparison to the ghetto civil war that’s being waged.” Adding that lyrics like Lamar’s don’t help address the Black communities bigger problems, before suggesting that listeners remember Marvin Gaye, “not the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac and the rest.”
“It’s the most negative possible message,” he added. “And what’s the point of it? I mean you sell records, I get that. I get that this stuff is popular, but it avoids the central reality, just as Black Lives Matter avoids the central reality […] The message that needs to get out there is that if you work hard, you can succeed despite the handicaps that you have.”