Fox News has come back to haunt itself, thanks to none other than Kendrick Lamar.
The first two tracks on the rapper's new album DAMN., released Thursday night, sample audio from a 2015 Fox News segment, as The Fader reported on Friday. If you're wondering why Lamar chose to feature the conservative outlet on his fourth studio LP, let us explain.
At the 2015 BET Awards, Lamar performed his hit song "Alright," which champions hope and resilience in the fight against racism and police brutality, and came to be associated with Black Lives Matter. Anchors on Fox's The Five took issue with the performance, criticizing what they perceived as anti law-enforcement sentiment. They pointed out the graffiti-covered cop car on the stage, as well as this lyric: "And we hate po-po / Wanna kill us dead in the street, fo sho.")
Geraldo Rivera made particularly incendiary comments, "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," he said. "Then to conflate what happened in the Charleston church in South Carolina with the tragic incidents involving excessive use of force by cops is to equate that racist killer with these cops. It’s so wrong. It’s so counterproductive."
Now, two years later, Rivera's voice can be heard on tracks one and two of DAMN., titled "BLOOD." and "DNA.," respectively. The reporter also gets name-dropped on track three, "YAH.": "Fox News wanna use my name for percentage / My latest news is 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 nigga got some ambition."
Lamar already defended "Alright" immediately after Rivera's rant back in 2015 — "How can you turn a song about hope and turn it into hatred?" he said a lengthy exchange with TMZ. "Hip-hop is not the problem. Our reality is the problem." But his clever revisiting of the debate here, two years after the fact, when we're still facing systemic racism and police brutality (and Kendrick is still dominating the charts), is just brilliant.
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