November 16, 2013


Top Dawg Entertainment Accuses GQ Kendrick Lamar Article of "Racial Overtones"

Kendrick Lamar was recently named one of popular men's magazine, GQ's, 2013 Men of the Year. But while nabbing a spot is typically an honor, the Compton rapper's label, Top Dawg Entertainment, are not happy about the situation.

TDE CEO, Anthony Tiffith , recently released a statement criticizing certain aspects of the article accompanying Lamar's spot.

"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," he said.

"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." 

Tiffith continued, calling the magazine out for "racial overtones" and explaining why Kendrick was a no-show at GQ's annual party celebrating the issue:

"To say he [Steve Marsh] 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 [sic] 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."

GQ's editor-in-chief, Jim Nelson, was quick to respond and released the following response expressing his confusion at the upset via the mag's website late last night:

"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 honor: putting him on the cover of our Men of the Year issue.

"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."

Oddly, the one person not speaking up on the controversy is Kendrick Lamar himself. Whether or not he agrees with Tiffith is entirely unknown. Hopefully he'll clarify in his next song.