Kendrick Lamar was recently named GQ’s Rapper of the Year, but he missing in action at the magazine’s Men of the Year event this week.
In response to an “offensive” article, the December cover star boycotted his performance — and the star-studded party all together!– in protest. Anthony Tiffith, the CEO of Kendrick’s Top Dawg Entertainment label, explained exactly way the Compton native blew off the event in a written statement to MTV.
“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,” Tiffith wrote. “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. To say he was ‘surprised at our discipline’ is completely disrespectful,” he explained. “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 what’s 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.”
“While we think it’s a tremendous honor to be named as one of the Men Of The Year, these lazy comparisons and offensive suggestions are something we won’t tolerate,” he finished. “Our reputation, work ethic, and product is something that we guard with our lives.”
In response to Tiffith’s comments, GQ editor-in-chief Jim Nelson released a statement of his own.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Nelson added, “I’m still a huge fan.”
Read the full GQ article here and tell us your thoughts below. Was it really a diss?