Even though Kendrick Lamar donned GQ‘s cover and was dubbed “The Next King of Rap,” it seems that Top Dawg Entertainment’s CEO, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith wasn’t too pleased with the direction writer Steve Marsh took with the GQ cover story.
TDE didn’t appreciate March’s portrayal of the rapper, who expressed shock at how disciplined K. Dot was in the light of his mainstream success after the release of good kid m.A.A.d city and also compared TDE to Death Row Records in the ’90s.
According to the Top Dawg, the story was filled with “racial overtones [which] immediately reminded everyone of a time in hip-hop that was destroyed by violence, resulting in the loss of two of our biggest stars [Tupac and B.I.G.].” For this reason, TDE pulled Kendrick from performing at GQ‘s annual Man of the Year party last Tuesday.
In response to Top Dawg’s thoughts, GQ Editor-in-Chief Jim Nelson, defended Marsh’s “incredibly postive” portrayal of Kendrick Lamar, but still expressed his praises for the young MC:
“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.”—Jim Nelson, GQ editor-in-chief