“Somebody tell Geraldo this nigga got some ambition,” Lamar raps on DAMN.
Rivera is called out several times on the album for his past comments about hip-hop.
DAMN.’s two opening tracks sample a statement Rivera made on Fox News in 2015 following Lamar’s BET Awards performance of ‘Alright’, which featured the rapper performing on top of a vandalised police car.
“This is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism in recent years,” he said of the performance.
In addition to sampling Rivera, Lamar also raps the following lines on another track, ‘YAH.’: “Fox News wanna use my name for percentage” and “Somebody tell Geraldo this nigga got some ambition”.
Rivera has now responded to Lamar in an 18-minute video posted on his Facebook page, in which he complements the rapper before doubling down on his previous remarks.
“Aside from Drake, in my opinion, [Kendrick Lamar is] probably the best hip-hop artist out there today,” he concedes at the beginning. However, later he adds: “I didn’t particularly care for the way he mentioned me.”
Rivera goes to reiterate his criticism of hip-hop, saying: “It’s the worst role model. It’s the worst example. It’s the most negative possible message”.
“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.”
He continues: “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 closes by singing Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ and asking viewers to “remember Mavin Gaye, not the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac and all the rest.”