The 28-year-old rapper’s performance was a big, bold statement.
Standing on the top of a police cruiser marked with graffiti while rapping, “And we hate po-po, want to kill us dead in the street for sure,” while a huge American flag waves behind him, definitely stands out as a statement against the recent injustices in America.
Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the BET Awards and lyrics to his songs are detrimental to society, Fox News pundit Geraldo Rivera said on the Fox News panel show The Five .
On the contrary, his lyrics actually represent the voiceless and disenfranchised youth of the new millennium in America.
But instead, it’s being flipped as propaganda.
Rivera has misconstrued Lamar’s message to bring awareness to misguided youth.
Rivera believes hip-hop music has done more “damage” to African-American youth than racism in recent years. Another reporter went on to say that Lamar’s performance “incites violence.”
Instead of taking the reporter approach and speaking from an unbiased perspective about African-Americans and hip-hop, Rivera does the exact opposite by viewing it as a tool of destruction.
Not viewing hip-hop as a positive outlet for minorities to overcome their life’s obstacles appears as a form of discrimination, giving a black eye to the industry of journalism and what it represents.
Lamar recently responded to Fox News’ comments in an interview by TMZ.
“Hip hop is not the problem. Our reality is the problem of the situation. This is our music, this is us expressing ourselves. Rather going out here and doing the murders myself, I want to express myself in a positive light the same way other artists are doing,” Lamar said. “Not going in the streets, go in the booth and talk about the situation and hope these kids can find some type of influence in a positive manner.”
With the current state of injustice to African-Americans in this country, Lamar is making a positive contribution to American culture, pushing the topic of race to the forefront of issues in this country.
His latest album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” addresses the inequalities within the African-American community and brings an exceptional delivery in his music, which has allowed him to cross color lines in terms of becoming popular among ethnicities outside of African-Americans.
His album reviews certainly have shown his influence. According to Billboard, Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” album has set the first-day streaming record by having tracks from the album listened to 9.6 million times.
A track on the album titled “Alright,” the same song performed at the BET Awards, is based on the harsh conditions many African-Americans have experienced such as police brutality and poverty. But the underlying message of the song is about perseverance.
Lamar also directly addressed Rivera’s comments by stating that when Geraldo says hip-hop is the problem, he is “avoiding” the problem.
“The oppression of having these guns and drugs in the streets and us being in the mentality where we have to somewhat survive these hostile situations, that’s the real problem,” Lamar said. “The more and more he tries to avoid that, the more and more we’re going to keep talking about it.”