The Fox News pundit has not changed his mind about hip hop.
Geraldo Rivera has offered a response to Kendrick Lamar's references to him on his new album DAMN. The tension between the two began with Rivera's criticism of Lamar's 2015 BET Awards performance of "Alright," which featured a vandalized cop car on stage among other politically-charged imagery that spoke to recent instances of police brutality against black men and women. Rivera responded to the performance with strong but predictable opposition, blaming rap at large for issues within the black community. "This is why I say that hip hop has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism in recent years," he said. "This is exactly the wrong message."
Those exact words are sampled on the intro to Kendrick Lamar's new album, DAMN., and Rivera is later referenced in a lyric. "Fox News wanna use my name for percentage," raps Kendrick. "Somebody tell Geraldo this n*gga got some ambition." These two instances make it clear that Lamar is not backing down from his side of the argument, which he explained in a statement made shortly after Rivera's initial remarks. "This is our music. This is us expressing ourselves. Rather [than] going out here and doing the murders myself, I want to express myself in a positive light the same way other artists are doing. Not going out in the streets, go in the booth and talking about the situation and hoping these kids can find some type of influence on it in a positive manner," he said.
Of course, Rivera has decided to offer a response to Kendrick's new album in a new 18-minute podcast, and unfortunately, his views have not changed at all. "Aside from Drake, in my opinion, [Lamar is] probably the best hip-hop artist out there today," he began, before dismissing rap as "very destructive culturally."
"And what’s the point of it? I mean, you sell records. I get that. You sell records," he continued. "I get that this stuff is, you know, popular, but it avoids the central reality, just as Black Lives Matter avoids the central reality."
Later on, he doubled down on the classic FOX News argument, "What about black-on-black crime?" "[Police brutality] pales in comparison to the ghetto civil war that’s being waged," he argued.
While he claims he has "no beef" with Kendrick, he suggests if the rapper doesn't adopt a "positive attitude," he's "dooming [him]self to a life that [he] profess[es] to despise."
Here's hoping Kendrick has another gripping performance lined up for next year's BET Awards. Stream Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. here.