Kendrick Lamar has a message for his critics. Following his performance at Sunday’s BET Awards, the Compton rapper came under fire from Fox News reporters including Geraldo Rivera, who accused him and all of hip-hop of doing more harm than good to African-American youth.
Rivera cited his “Alright” performance, which featured Kendrick on top of a vandalized cop car and rapping the lyrics, “And we hate the po-po / Wanna kill us dead in the street for sure.”
Rivera reprimanded Kendrick for inciting violence. “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,” said the Fox News journalist.
@KenndrickLamar is a talented sincere performer. If only he sang about heroes who see the world as it is & urge young folks to rise above it
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) July 3, 2015
But the TDE titan didn’t back down. During his appearance on “TMZ Live” on Thursday, he responded to Rivera and the rest of his detractors.
“How can you take a song that’s about hope and turn it into hatred? The overall message is, ‘We gon’ be alright.’ It’s not the message of, ‘I wanna kill people,'” explained K-Dot.
“Hip-hop is not the problem. Our reality is the problem of the situation.”
He addressed the larger issue at hand. “The problem isn’t me standing on a cop car. I think his attempt is really diluting the real problem, which is senseless acts of killing of these young boys out here,” said Kendrick. “For the most part, it’s avoiding the truth. This is reality, this is my world. This is what I talk about in my music. You can’t dilute that.”
“Me being on the cop car, that’s a performance piece after these senseless acts. Of course I’m gonna be enraged about what’s going on here, of course I’ma speak on it. But at the same time, you can’t dilute the overall message: Yeah we angry about what’s going on, yeah we see what’s going on, but you can’t do that, you can’t take away our hope and our privilege that things will be OK at the end of the day.”
Watch King Kendrick state his case.