On the Damn. cut “Yah,” Lamar rapped, “Fox News wanna use my name for percentage… Somebody tell Geraldo this nigga got some ambition,” a response to statements Rivera made on Fox News regarding the rapper following his controversial “Alright” performance at the 2015 BET Awards; Rivera’s comments are also sampled at the end of Damn. opener “Blood.”
Rivera responded to the Lamar lyric Friday afternoon in a 18-minute Facebook video, first complimenting the “great” rapper – “Aside from Drake, in my opinion, [Lamar is] probably the best hip-hop artist out there today” – before reiterating his stance that hip-hop music is “very destructive culturally,” as Rivera said in a 2015 Huffington Post interview where he also criticized rap.
“[Hip-hop is] the worst role model. It’s the worst example. It’s the most negative possible message,” Rivera said Friday. “And what’s the point of it? I mean, you sell records. I get that. You sell records. I get that this stuff is, you know, popular, but it avoids the central reality, just as Black Lives Matter avoids the central reality.”
Rivera continued, “I know that the real danger to real black men and real brown men now is that their role model will sing about cops being killers and the system being stacked and there’s no chance of advancement and all the rest of it.”
Rivera went on to add that the issue of police brutality “pales in comparison to the ghetto civil war that’s being waged” in cities like Chicago, and that the African-American community would be better off looking up to artists like Marvin Gaye than rappers like Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.
“I have no beef with Kendrick Lamar, anyone else in the business, but if you don’t have a positive attitude, you’re dooming yourself to a life that you profess to despise,” Rivera said.