“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,” TDE CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith said in a written statement issued to MTV News on Friday (November 15). “Instead, the story, written by Steve Marsh, put myself and my company in a negative light.”
Tiffith goes on to charge that the magazine article included subtle hints of racism. For the story, Marsh followed Lamar to the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards and rode a private jet with the fast-rising rap star. In the article he compared Tiffith, to reputed Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight and remarked at the TDE crew’s discipline and good nature. “You guys seem so calm,” he quoted himself as telling Tiffith in the story.
“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,” Tiffith’s statement read. “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 whats wrong with Hip Hop music.”
“Furthermore, Kendrick deserved to be accurately documented,” the statement read. “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.”
In response to the article, Tiffith pulled Lamar from GQ‘s Man of the Year party and performance in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
In addition to Lamar, Justin Timberlake, Matthew McConaughey, Will Ferrell and the late James Gandolfini all grace their own individual Men of the Year cover, which hits newsstands this month.
“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.”
MTV News has reached out to a GQ for comment, but received none as of press time.