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Kendrick Lamar Had The Perfect Response To Geraldo Rivera's Criticism

'Hip-hop is not the problem. Our reality is.'

This week, Kendrick Lamar has celebrated the release of his acclaimed "Alright" music video. He's also had to field less positive reactions, such as Geraldo Rivera's criticism of the track's lyrics.

On Thursday (July 2), K. Dot responded to the criticism with his own message for Rivera.

"How can you take a song that’s about hope and turn it into hatred?" he said in an interview with TMZ Live. "The message, the overall message [of 'Alright'], is, 'We gon’ be alright.' It’s not a message of ‘I want to kill people.’"

Rivera, and others on Fox News' "The Five" program, also discussed Lamar's BET Awards performance where he stood on top of a vandalized cop car. Lamar didn't shy away from that, either.

"The problem isn’t me standing on top of a cop car," he said. "His attempt is diluting the real problem, which is the senseless acts of killings of these young boys out here. 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," he added. "Of course I’m gonna be enraged about what’s going on out here, of course I’m gonna speak on it. But at the same time, you can’t dilute the overall message…You can’t take away our hope and our privilege that things will be okay at the end of the day."

One of Rivera's most-discussed quotes from that TV appearance was centered around hip-hop. The reporter said the culture “has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism in recent years." Kendrick clearly sees things quite differently.

"Hip-hop is not the problem," he said. "Our reality is the problem of the situation...This is our music. This is us expressing ourselves. Rather [than] going out here and doing the murders myself, I want to express myself in a positive light the same way other artists are doing.

"Not going out in the streets, go in the booth and talking about the situation and hoping these kids can find some type of influence on it in a positive manner," he continued. "Coming from these streets and coming from these neighborhoods, we're taking our talents and putting them inside the studio."