Geraldo Rivera Blasts Rap Music: It’s Done ‘More Damage to Black and Brown People Than Racism’

“Celebrity Apprentice” runner-up also calls out Def Jam records co-founder Russell Simmons

Last Updated: February 17, 2015 @ 9:40 PM

Geraldo Rivera blasted hip-hop music Tuesday during a sit-down to promote his almost-win on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”

During the interview about his run on the competition series, the Fox News correspondent suddenly shifted the topic to race and music.

“Hip-hop has done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years,” Rivera said during a half-hour chat with HuffPost Live (his comments begin at 22:45).

“[Find a] youngster — a Puerto Rican from the South Bronx or a black kid from Harlem who has succeeded in life other than being the one-tenth of one-tenth of one percent that make it in the music business — that’s been a success in life walking around with his pants around his ass and with visible tattoos,” he said.

Rivera made the unprompted comments when the stream’s host Josh Zepps asked about his political views. Rivera then pressed further, calling out Def Jam records co-founder Russell Simmons.

“I love Russell Simmons, he’s a dear friend of mine. I admire his business acumen,” Rivera said, “at some point, those guys have to cop to the fact that by encouraging this distinctive culture that is removed from the mainstream, they have encouraged people to be so different from the mainstream that they can’t participate other than, you know, the racks in the garment center and those entry-level jobs.”

“I lament it. I really do. I think that it has been very destructive culturally,” he concluded.

Reps for Simmons have not yet returned TheWrap’s request for comment.

Rivera also discussed embattled NBC News anchor Brian Williams during the interview, defending him for the chopper-whopper that led to a six-month suspension without pay.

“To wreck a guy’s career, behind one tall tale, I think is really out of line … You can’t tell me that in six months they’re going to let him back and just say all is forgiven,” Rivera said. “Do [Comcast and NBC] really want to regurgitate the whole scandal? They want it to go away… I lament that. This is a country of second chances and I wish that they would give him a second chance.”