GQ's Editor-In-Chief Jim Nelson has responded to TDE's Chief-Executive-Officer Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith's criticism of the publication's article on Kendrick Lamar.
"Kendrick Lamar is one of the most talented new musicians to arrive on the scene in years," Nelson says in a statement on gq.com. "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."
Tiffith critiqued GQ's article on Kendrick Lamar in a statement published yesterday (November 15).
“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 said in a statement. “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. 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. As a result of this misrepresentation, I pulled Kendrick from his performance at GQ's annual ‘Man Of The Year’ party Tuesday, November 12th.”
Nelson says that Top's decision to remove Kendrick Lamar from the performance "mystified" and "disappointed" the publication.
In his statement, Nelson says he is "still a huge fan."
Top Dawg Entertainment began in 2005. The label has a roster that includes Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and ScHoolboy Q, members who also make up the Black Hippy collective. This year, the imprint signed two more artists to its roster, singer SZA and rapper Isaiah Rashad.
The next release from the label is slated to be Oxymoron, an album by ScHoolboy Q. Originally meant for 2013 and delayed by sample clearance issues, the collection is set to be released in the first quarter of 2014.