Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Calls GQ’s Kendrick Lamar Cover Story Disrespectful

Kendrick Lamar was recently named “Rapper of the Year” by GQ, and Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith had an issue with the accompanying story. He released a press statement to let his feelings be known:

In 2004, I founded Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) with the goal of providing a home for west coast artists and a platform for these artists to express themselves freely and to give their music to the world.  From our beginning in 2005 with Jay Rock, to developing Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul, to most recently singing Isaiah Rashad and SZA.  We, as TDE, have always prided ourselves in doing everything with heart, honor, and respect.

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.  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 whats 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.

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. Our reputation, work ethic, and product is something that we guard with our lives.

  • Yorkshireite

    Fair play.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSZ55hEkxnM TopBananas

    this makes me f^ck w/ TDE even more.

  • Lucas Ross

    I read the article.. didn’t quite notice any racial undertones or disrespect coming from the author. I saw it as a day in the life of Kendrick Lamar.. didn’t notice any bias.

  • dr. millionaire

    yeah I agree, baffled by this

  • Iammrhall

    being called ” little suge” isn’t disrespectful hmmmmmmmm…..

  • http://twitter.com/troybrowntv TroyBrownTV

    I had to look the article up after this. The author said TDE is Baby Death Row. That line floored me. It seemed like they were minimizing TDE by calling them the “baby” anything. And then to call them Baby Death Row? Wow. And he called Tiffith Top Dawg’s Suge Knight. To be honest, I’m surprised at TDE’s discipline the way it is described in the article. No smoking, drinking, groupies or partying? That’s a legit surprise. But when combined with the Death Row theme it just came off weird imo. But you have to be more responsible if you’re GQ. You have to know that people who don’t have a relationship with TDE may be hearing about them for the first time from you. And if you continually describe them as Suge Knight and Death Row, people are going to distance themselves from TDE. That’s the kind of thing that could hurt their careers and entertainers because Death Row’s brand is not viewed favorably. It’s almost like saying Black Hippy is the Mob and Kendrick is their Tony Soprano. That imagery is damaging.