On Kendrick Lamar’s new album, DAMN., he takes a number of swipes at Fox News and news personality 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.” And then on “YAH.,” he calls out Rivera by name: “Fox News wanna use my name for percentage… Somebody tell Geraldo this nigga got ambition.”
Earlier today, Rivera responded to Lamar in a Facebook video and doubles down on the comments he made back in 2015, which are sampled on the album: “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.”
In the video, Rivera characterizes his mention on the song as “benign” and goes on to compliment Lamar’s talent, and says that “aside from Drake, in my opinion, [he’s] probably the best hip-hop artist out there today.” But he also says that rap 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.
He goes on to list off a ton of rap songs over the years that have apparently perpetuated this idea, and also at one point sings a bit of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” adding that we should “remember Mavin Gaye, not the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac and all the rest.”
Here’s Rivera’s full broadcast: