“As far as like the GQ cover, I had to go read it myself,” Rashad says in an interview with Fader. “I guess as far as the way they like, personified the label or whatever, I definitely agree with Top [Dawg, founder and CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment] on the decision to pull it. I agree with him. It isn’t the best personification of us right now.”
Furthermore, Rashad says that the cover issue speaks to a broader problem in his eyes.
“I don’t wanna like, be that guy, but I don’t like how black people are covered in the media period,” Rashad says. “I would think in 2013 going into 2014 with everything going on, it wouldn’t be so—people just wouldn’t say some of the things that they say.”
In November, TDE’s founder and CEO, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, critiqued GQ’s article on Kendrick Lamar in a statement.
“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.”
“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.”