Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. album has been on rotation since its release last Friday (April 14), but some specific tracks have been garnering the most chatter.
On the album cut “YAH.,” the rapper calls out both Fox News and Geraldo Rivera, with lyrics like: “Fox News wanna use my name for percentage […] Somebody tell Geraldo this n*gga got ambition.”
The rapper’s lyrics were in response to Rivera’s criticism of his 2015 BET Awards performance, where he accuses Kendrick of spreading an anti-police message… at time when tensions were high between the black community and law enforcement.
Well, Kendrick has sampled Rivera’s remarks on the DAMN. cuts, “BLOOD.” and “DNA.” And… he’s addressed those lyrics in a recent Facebook video.
During the video, Rivera said that while he “has no beef with” and even considers him the most talented rapper today, along with Drake, he believes that Kendrick — and hip-hop as a whole — is damaging to youth.
“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,” Rivera says. “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 claim that Kendrick’s lyrics damage the communities he represents, rather than help. He also suggested people remember Marvin Gaye, “not the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac and the rest.”
“It’s the most negative possible message,” he said. “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.”
Woah! Watch the full video below, and let us know what you think on social media.