While appearing on the Fox News program The Five, Rivera criticized Lamar’s 2015 single “Alright” “irresponsible” for glamorizing police brutality and allegedly “Causing more damage to young African Americans that racism in recent years.” Rivera went on to say that the Compton emcee is “Not helpful at all” and “It is so counterproductive, it gives exactly the wrong message.” You can watch the full episode here.
Lamar took heed of Rivera’s comments, and not only sampled the now infamous interview on the songs “BLOOD.” and “DNA.” but called out Rivera and Fox News by name on the song “YAH” with the lyrics: “Fox News wanna use my name for percentage/My latest news in my niece, she’s worth livin/See me on the TV and scream ‘That’s Uncle Kendrick!’/Yeah that’s the business/Somebody tell Geraldo this n*gga got some ambition.”
Now, it seems, Rivera has set the record straight on his opinion of Lamar and his unflattering role on the new album. The TV personality posted a 17-minute video clip on Facebook, where he made it clear that he has no ill will towards the rapper:
“Today, I’m responding to some news I got this morning that Kendrick Lamar, the great rapper, Grammy award winner, really, I mean, aside from Drake, in my opinion, probably the best hip-hop artist out there today. I didn’t particularly care for the way he mentioned me. … I have no beef with Kendrick Lamar, as I said, I think aside from Drake, the most talented artist, rapper, whatever you want to call it. But our beef or disagreement – stems from February 2016 during the Grammys when Kendrick Lamar performed ‘Alright’ at a time when the country really was on pins and needles, it was extreme tension, you had Ferguson going on – he did [his performance] on top of a police car, with an American flag, breaking out of chains and so forth and what I said at the time is that in my view, that kind of performance is irresponsible. Why do I say that? As I said at the time, ‘hip-hop has done more damage to African Americans than racism in recent years. This is exactly the wrong message.’ I think too much of rap in the last couple of decades has really portrayed the cops as the enemy.”
Listen to ‘YAH.” and the rest of Lamar’s album below.