Almost exactly a year ago, soon after the release of Beyoncé's powerful Black Panther-referencing Super Bowl performance of Formation, conservative news host Tomi Lahren went on a viral rant about its apparently anti-police message. Bey's team then hit up Lahren to ask if they could license the audio for use in the Lemonade legend's Formation world tour. Spoiler: she said no.
Kendrick Lamar didn't bother obtaining network approval for his own genius sample of a conservative news host's inflammatory criticism. On Friday K-Dot dropped his own unapologetically pro-black new opus, DAMN. — a follow-up to 2015's equally crucial To Pimp a Butterfly, which featured the Compton rapper's incredible protest chant Alright. The first two tracks on the new album feature audio of Fox News's Geraldo Rivera criticising Kendrick's 2015 BET performance of Alright for that performance's apparently anti-police message.
"Hip-hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years," Rivera says in the sample after clumsily reciting some of Kendrick's lyrics. "This is exactly the wrong message." The Fox anchor's criticisms have now been immortalised in Kendrick's BLOOD. and DNA. The rapper then takes aim at Rivera yet again in the third track, YAH. "Fox News wanna use my name for percentage," he spits, "My latest news is my niece, she's worth livin' / See me on the TV and scream, 'That's Uncle Kendrick.'" Rivera has now responded in turn via a 17-minute Facebook video that no one appears to have watched past the point where he calls Kendrick the best rapper aside from Drake. Perhaps he should stick to grooming tutorials.
Text Hannah Ongley