|Photo Credit: Ben Miller|
A couple weeks ago I showed you guys the one of the covers of GQ magazine with Kendrick Lamar receiving the Rapper of the Year Award. You would think he would be happy right? Well you would be WRONG! Kendrick and TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) are not happy with the article that was written about Kendrick at all. They were offended and felt as though the article had racial overtones.
Steve Marsh the articles author painted a vivid picture of Kendrick being a very disciplined, dedicated rapper plagued by real world issues. And at his a core a grounded down to earth individual putting his stamp on in the world of hip hop. But TDE CEO Anthony Tiffith doesn't see it that way here's what he thinks via theGrio:
“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,”TDE felt as though the article had racial overtones and were very offended at the way he and his labelmates were depicted. So when the magazine had their release party Kendrick Lamar declined to attend and perform.
Naturally GQ was very disappointed and were extremely sad at the fact that Kendrick and his label TDE were offended by the article. Jim Nielsen doesn't feel like the article was offensive at all. Here's his statement in response to the criticism and TDE's statement via theGrio:
“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.”GQ and Kendrick are at a stand still. Currently they have no reason to cross paths again. But I'm sure it will happen. However I'm curious as to how the author of the article Mr. Steve Marsh feels about his work being criticized? Everyone has answered TDE's response to the article since its publish except him. I wonder...
First off I believe that article was genuine and it did paint Kendrick Lamar in a good light. But I can also agree that the article was focused on the things that are wrong with hip hop. Things Mr. Marsh was expecting but didn't get. Drama - Beef with Drake (fizzled when Kendrick thwarted the convo about it), Women and Money (only came up in conversation once about how unfazed Kendrick was with it), and lastly Drugs and Booze (it was mentioned several times that Kendrick does not partake in the dramatics of these drugs). Kendrick is a focused man and so are his colleagues and labelmates. Their craft is whats important and they will not let any temptation get in the way of that. That's what I got out of the article. And the fact that even with his success and fame he's still Kendrick. A young man that is changing the game of hip hop into a competitive lyrical playground. Forcing his peers around him to adjust and step up to the plate or bow out gracefully. That's what I got out of the article.
Hip hop is viewed as a sex filled, money grubbing, drug popping melting pot because that's how it's depicted. Since hip hop is majority African American, the article could be deemed as having racial overtones. Cause I guarantee if the article was written about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Mac Miller, or Machine Gun Kelly the conversation probably would've went a little differently. But I can say that I think article didn't do any damage to Kendrick if anything the article gave a fan a glimpse into Kendrick's mindset as well as TDE's mindset. How he views himself in the industry and as a person. Ultimately it was Kendrick's decision to either support to boycott the article. He decided to boycott. He stood up for what he believed and you can't fault him for that.
Source: theGrio, Photo via Ben Miller - benmillerphoto.com