Kendrick Lamar and his label Top Dawg Entertainment have criticised GQ magazine for using “racial overtones” in an article on the rapper in their Men Of The Year issue, Consequence Of Sound reports.
Lamar is named as one of the publication’s annual Men Of The Year but his label have now dismissed the honour after the magazine published a “disrespectful” feature on the artist, which TDE say portrays the company in a “negative light”.
TDE CEO Anthony Tiffith released a statement on Friday night (November 15) explaining the company’s position. He wrote: “This week, Kendrick Lamar was named one of GQ‘s 2013 Men Of The Year, an honor that should have been celebrated as a milestone in his career and for the company. Instead, the story, written by Steve Marsh, put myself and my company in a negative light. Marsh’s story was more focused on what most people would see as drama or bs.” He continued:
To say he was “surprised at our discipline” is completely disrespectful. Instead of putting emphasis on the good that TDE has done for west coast music, and for hip hop as a whole, he spoke on what most people would consider whats wrong with Hip Hop music. Furthermore, Kendrick deserved to be accurately documented. The racial overtones, immediately reminded everyone of a time in hip-hop that was destroyed by violence, resulting in the loss of two of our biggest stars. We would expect more from a publication with the stature and reputation that GQ has. As a result of this misrepresentation, I pulled Kendrick from his performance at GQ’s annual Man Of The Year party Tuesday, November 12th.
Although neither Tiffith, Lamar or anyone else involved with TDE have specified which segments of the article they found offensive, Consequence Of Sound speculates they are referring to Marsh’s description of TDE as “the baby Death Row Records”, “being surprised by [Kendrick’s] discipline” and the extended mentions of Kendrick’s “beefs” with Drake and Diddy.
GQ have responded to the statement with Editor-In-Chief Jim Nelson saying: “Kendrick Lamar is one of the most talented new musicians to arrive on the scene in years. That’s the reason we chose to celebrate him, wrote an incredibly positive article declaring him the next King of Rap, and gave him our highest honour: putting him on the cover of our Men of the Year issue.”
He continued: “I’m not sure how you can spin that into a bad thing, and I encourage anyone interested to read the story and see for themselves. We were mystified and sorely disappointed by Top Dawg’s decision to pull him at the last minute from the performance he had promised to give. The real shame is that people were deprived of the joy of seeing Kendrick perform live. I’m still a huge fan.”