By Sean Lynch
Earlier this week it seemed that Kendrick Lamar had taken another a big step in his career, snagging GQ Magazine’s coveted “Rapper Of The Year” title, and even landing on the cover of the men’s fashion publication. The cover story didn’t sit too well within Kendrick’s camp though, which led to the rapper being pulled from the GQ Man of the Year party, which took place this past Tuesday (Nov. 12). The decision came from Top Dawg Entertainment’s CEO, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, who pulled Kendrick from the performance citing “racial overtones.” The statement spread across the web and ignited various debates on social media.
“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,” explained Tiffith. The founder and CEO of the label claims the story which was penned by Steve Marsh put his 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,” explained Tiffth in the press release. It was not just Kendrick that Top Dawg felt was negatively portrayed, but Hip-Hop as a whole. “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,” referencing the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.
This part of the statement became the focal point of many industry conversations between writers and fans alike.
Towards the end of the lengthy statement, the TDE CEO took aim at the publication. “We would expect more from a publication with the stature and reputation that GQ has,” denounced Tiffth. “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. Our reputation, work ethic, and product is something that we guard with our lives.”
Kendrick Lamar’s GQ cover story is on stands now. The Compton MC returns to the touring circuit tomorrow as the Yeezus tour, headlined by Kanye West, gets back on track in Philadelphia.