Fox News pundit says Kendrick Lamar’s social commentary ‘pales in comparison to the ghetto civil war that’s being waged’

Geraldo Rivera had previously claimed hip-hop had "done more damage to young African-Americans than racism"

Fox News pundit Geraldo Rivera has said Kendrick Lamar‘s social commentary “pales in comparison to the ghetto civil war that’s being waged” in America.

The rapper dissed Rivera on his ‘DAMN.‘ track ‘YAH.’ after he said “hip-hop has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism” in the wake of Lamar’s 2015 BET Awards performance. On the track, he first calls out the TV channel, rapping “Fox News wanna use my name for percentage“, later addressing Rivera directly: “Somebody tell Geraldo this n***a got some ambition.

In a new interview on SiriusXM’s Sway In The Morning programme, Rivera defended his past comments, adding that he is “an integrationist” and wants “people to live together, to aspire together”.

Calling himself “more of a Drake man”, he said he needed positivity and “reaffirmation that hard work and education and ambition are good things and they’ll be rewarded in this society wherever you come from.” He added that he thinks there is “too much gloom and pessimism rather than celebration”, saying Drake had more celebration in his music than Lamar.

Challenged by co-host Mike Muse over whether he had listened to all of Lamar’s catalogue, he said: “I’m not a music critic, so I’m not going to pretend that I can give you the discography of Kendrick Lamar. I can tell you I’ve listened to many of his albums, I’ve listened to his music. His performances are not only theatrical, but very dramatic, and make a editorial point, I think you’ll agree, that’s beyond the musical aspect.

“He’s making a political statement in these theatrical TV appearances on these various shows,” he continued. “I think he’s in a very powerful position.” He also said that Kanye West‘s music “exalts the division” between races. When host Sway pointed out that Lamar discusses in his music, Rivera responds by saying his social commentary “pales in comparison to the ghetto civil war that’s being waged” in the US.

“The cheapness of life in too many American cities where a young black man kills another young black man and it goes un-noted,” he said. “It goes un-noted because it’s not a cop that killed a kid. It’s so melancholy to me. I want, ‘Brother, brother.’ I want that sentiment back.”

Meanwhile, a new biography on Lamar is in the works, which will document the ‘DAMN.’ artists’ “rise to rap superstardom”. Written by Marcus J. Moore, senior editor of Bandcamp and contribute to Pitchfork, it will track the rapper’s “coming of age” and “his profound impact on a racially fraught America”.