Geraldo Rivera has a beef with rap, but that doesn’t mean he thinks one of hip-hop’s biggest names isn’t great. After Kendrick Lamar name-checked Rivera on his new album, Damn, the Fox News host responded via a lengthy Facebook Live video by praising him and his rap rival. Sort of.
On the Damn song “Yah,” Lamar calls out the Fox News host for using his “name for percentage,” then names Geraldo directly when making it clear that this “n****s got some ambition.”
Geraldo Rivera previously talked about Kendrick after his controversial performance at the 2015 BET Awards and those comments are sampled at the end of the Damn track, “Blood.”
In the 18-minute Facebook video, Geraldo Rivera started out by complimenting Lamar, but he did it in a backhanded way.
“Aside from Drake, in my opinion, [Kendrick is] probably the best hip-hop artist out there today,” Geraldo proclaimed.
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But Geraldo didn’t have any kudos for Kendrick’s (or Drake’s) genre.
“[Hip-hop is] the worst role model,” Rivera said.
“It’s the worst example. It’s the most negative possible message.”
Geraldo went on to question the “point” of rap. Besides selling records, of course.
“I get that this stuff is popular, but it avoids the central reality, just as Black Lives Matter avoids the central reality,” Geraldo said.
“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. 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.”
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Geraldo also said that today’s police brutality “pales in comparison to the ghetto civil war that’s being waged” in some major U.S. cities.
“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 continued.
“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.”
Rivera also said the African-American community would be better off looking up to artists like Marvin Gaye (at one point Geraldo sang a bit of Gaye’s classic “What’s Going On”), than rappers like Notorious B.I.G., and Tupac Shakur, who were both murdered early on in their rap careers.
“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,” Geraldo told his viewers.
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This is not the first time that Geraldo Rivera has talked about how culturally destructive rap music is. In 2015, Geraldo told the Huffington Post that hip-hop has done more damage “to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years.”
In his spiel, Rivera challenged anyone to find “a Puerto Rican from the South Bronx or a black kid from Harlem who has succeeded in life other than being the one-tenth of one-tenth of one percent that make it in the music business — that’s been a success in life walking around with his pants around his a** and with visible tattoos…”
Geraldo said that hip-hop’s most prominent personalities are to blame, even though Russell Simmons is a “dear friend” of his.
“At some point, those guys have to cop to the fact that by encouraging this distinctive culture that is removed from the mainstream, they have encouraged people to be so different from the mainstream that they can’t participate other than the racks in the garment center and those entry-level jobs,” Geraldo said. “And I lament it. I really do. I think that it has been very destructive culturally.”
Kendric Lamar hasn’t responded to Geraldo Rivera’s latest rant. Yet.
[Featured Image by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Samsung]