Kendrick Lamar Boycotts GQ ‘Men of the Year’ Party Over ‘Offensive’ Interview

Kendrick Lamar

Justin Timberlake and Pharrell were among those celebrating their GQ “Men of the Year” honors this week, but one “Man of the Year” was missing from the party. Kendrick Lamar boycotted the magazine’s event over an “offensive” interview.

According to TMZ, Kendrick was supposed to perform at the L.A. event earlier this week, but canceled after reading his GQ interview. In the cover story, writer Steve Marsh expresses his surprise at Kendrick’s discipline by refusing to drink and womanize like many of his rap peers.

“Kendrick doesn’t smoke weed or drink booze,” wrote Marsh. “In the time I spent with him, I never witnessed anyone roll even the thinnest spider leg of a jay, nor did I see Kendrick so much as glance at the many, many girls around him.”

The writer also notes the gang violence endemic in Kendrick’s hometown of Compton, which has plagued hip-hop.

This did not sit well with Kendrick and his camp, who claim Marsh romanticized a dark time in hip-hop rather than focusing on Kendrick’s achievements.

Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony Tiffith tells TMZ that he won’t stand for it. “To say he was ‘surprised at our discipline’ is completely disrespectful,” said Tiffith. “Kendrick deserved to be accurately documented.”

He added, “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 [Tupac and B.I.G.] … As a result of this misrepresentation, I pulled Kendrick from his performance at GQ‘s annual ‘Men of the Year’ party.”

While he appreciates the honor, he’s drawing the line. “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.”

Read the controversial interview on GQ.com.

UPDATE: GQ editor-in-chief Jim Nelson has released a statement in response to TDE CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith’s comments about Kendrick’s cover story.

“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.”



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35 Comments

  1. 10078

    Why is on GQ anyway?

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  2. eurogirl

    Very proud of you Mr. Kendrick Lamar, your 100% right

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  3. MMG-SUEDE

    Homie Kendrick be so real with it

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  4. Brandon

    He’s probably gay.

    [Reply]

    Cranberry Reply:

    @Brandon, or he’s simply not a sleazeball. Shocking, I know!

    Ugh.

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    chris_shorts Reply:

    @Cranberry, i agree there is still gentlemen in the world i hate when ignorant niggas pull the gay card i mean they do it to me all the time becu i dont degrade our women n i am sweet to them . last time i check i have lil sisters lil cousins and aunts and close friends who are girls i would want a mah disrespecting my sister so why disrespect someone elses . the urban demographic is sad thats why we will never grow. he did the right thing in his statement and boycott like they didnt focus on his accomplishments at all and thats sad

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    ash Reply:

    @chris_shorts,

    And I quote:

    “Kendrick Lamar – Rapper Of The Year”

    “one of the best rappers ever to come out of the place that has produced many of the best rappers ever—and since then his legend has spread fast”

    “He’s the game’s most linguistically cerebral MC, but also its realest”

    “it’s this polarity that makes listening to King Kendrick feel like you’re putting on the illest 3-D glasses in hip-hop. ”

    “The dude slaps Sean on his own song.”

    “it felt like I was talking to a wizened rap Jedi”

    “he’s already 10,000 feet above Compton, and rising”

    The entire fucking article is praising him, they named in man of the year for fuck sake.
    There is absolutely nothing offensive about him in the article, AT ALL.

    The article was informative and interesting, why would they write an article “focusing on his accomplishments” when every single person can go on Wikipedia and find out the awards and chart certifications he has won? The article just gave an insight into the mind and life of Kendrick, and there’s nothing offensive about that.

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    Jane Reply:

    @ash, I couldn’t say it any better. It seems people are just going off what Tiffith said in his media release and not actually reading the article themselves. I think it was for publicity and his followers did exactly what was expected; didn’t even read the article and jumped on the ostracize the writer campaign. Idiots.

    [Reply]

  5. Winston Churchill

    Over sensitive.

    [Reply]

    nwhat Reply:

    @Winston Churchill, yes. such a sensitive rat

    [Reply]

  6. Ghetto Heisman

    Love Kendrick and his music. Read the article, and I couldn’t see what was so offensive. Kendrick gets a lot if praise in the interview. The real reason is probably TDE’s label boss being labeled a “Suge Knight” type by the author, and the label being likened to Death Row records.

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    HNG Reply:

    @Ghetto Heisman, Kendrick didn’t get any praise in that article. Instead they talked about his homeboy who passed, and other things that weren’t really related to his success. The questions that were asked shouldn’t have been asked. It seems as though the interviewer’s intentions were make the brand look bad. He even said Top Dawg was the “Suge Knight” of the group. There’s people who might know who TDE is. So them reading that statement, says they’re like Death Row. Death Row portrayed violence in their music. That right there is shining a negative light on the brand. Like Top said, they were suppose to focus on his achievements. We all know Kendrick has done a lot over the past year. Plenty on things to ask him regarding things to ask him. And for him to say he was surprised at their discipline… Tf is that suppose to mean? Because he’s black?.. You get the point.

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    ash Reply:

    @HNG, People like you are fucking stupid. You’re the type of person to complain about Lil Wayne rapping only about bitches and money and then turn around and praise Kendrick for not doing the same. But then when a magazine highlights the fact that Kendrick isn’t a misogynistic drug user, you turn around claim it’s racism. Sit the fuck down

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    HNG Reply:

    @ash, you’re point proves absolutely nothing. You seem like the type of nigga who smiles and feels good when you hear someone tell you “You speak very well for a black person.” They start off with the absolute lowest expectations of you and are amazed when you don’t fit their preconceived stereotypes, but your dumb ass is too naive to see that. That’s probably the same reason why you missed what’s wrong with this interview. And I never said they were “racist”. I said they were stereotyping. There’s a fucking difference. The interview was complete negative bullshit. Simple as that…

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    Jane Reply:

    @HNG, Dude, you are the one stereotyping! To assume because the white-writer was surprised by their “discipline” has anything to do with the color of his skin is shocking. What, just because it was a white writer that is a shocking observation? It doesn’t matter what color the person it, what genre of music they perform, or where the person is from…drinking and partying after the VMAs is shocking! The writer made a point to talk about this in the article because he wanted to show that he is grounded and disciplined. Fuck, look at half the celebs out there! This has nothing to do with race. Read the whole article before you comment anymore because you comments prove that you aren’t doing your research.

    [Reply]

    HNG Reply:

    @Jane, it’s clear that this argument is getting no where… To each his own, my nigga. All love.

    HNG Reply:

    @ash, @ash, @ash, you’re point proves absolutely nothing. You seem like the type of n*gga who smiles and feels good when you hear someone tell you “You speak very well for a black person.” They start off with the absolute lowest expectations of you and are amazed when you don’t fit their preconceived stereotypes, but your dumb ass is too naive to see that. That’s probably the same reason why you missed what’s wrong with this interview. And I never said they were “racist”. I said they were stereotyping. There’s a f*cking difference. The interview was complete negative bs. Simple as that…

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    John Reply:

    @ash, that person is right man. Compare his interview to Justin Timberlake’s recent interview. It says it all.

    [Reply]

  7. Liz

    The title of this article is misleading. Though Kendrick probably said something about this TO HIS CAMP, he has not a public response to or about GQ. Top Dawg did. His response was 2 paragraphs with understandable reasoning. This article only pulled out bits of his statement and made it seem as though they’re being bitches about the situation; similar to GQ. Steve Marsh gave a very bad image of what Hip-Hop is. He’d probably do the same sh*t to Flo-Rida… Not all black rappers are “gangster” rappers. This stereotyping sh*t is past old & sad.

    [Reply]

  8. erw

    his label pulled him from the party, stop misleading people rap up. this article is completely false.

    [Reply]

  9. Sadam

    talkin bout sensitive rapper in his pajamas

    [Reply]

    ash Reply:

    @Sadam, AHAHHAHA YES, THIS

    [Reply]

  10. LIL KIM.

    KENDRICK DOES SMOKE WEED, HE’S A LIAR FOR THAT!!!

    [Reply]

    Brad Reply:

    @LIL KIM., no he doesn’t. As a teen he did.

    [Reply]

    thedon Reply:

    @LIL KIM., K Dot don’t smoke you retard

    [Reply]

    WoaahThere Reply:

    @LIL KIM., ”And they wonder why I rarely smoke now, Imagine if your first blunt had you foaming at the mouth” He doesn’t smoke fool

    [Reply]

    Whaaaaaat Reply:

    @LIL KIM., I met him before and he was definitely smokin and drinkin vodka.

    [Reply]

  11. JD

    Yeah I’m in total agreement. Why note that your surprised. I would take the undertone to mean that you were surprised that a black rapper & his people didn’t roll up or objective the women they were with.

    [Reply]

  12. Nicki Minaj

    *sigh*

    [Reply]

  13. Jade

    His antics are annoying now.

    [Reply]

  14. ash

    The entire article is praising him, there is absolutely nothing racial or mildly offensive towards him, how the fuck can his reaction be this? Talk about sensitive, he needs to tuck himself back into his pyjamas and sit the fuck down and evaluate his attitude.

    [Reply]

  15. Jonathan

    And he called Drake sensitive….

    [Reply]

  16. joyful,joyful

    idc for this but i must say i bought good kid maad city today and that was the BEST 15$ Ive spent in a long time. the album is so fulfilling.

    [Reply]

  17. marcus

    Um Kendrick does not smoke.I use to talk to him on facebook before e blew up.. wiht all his youtube songs. and I guess to tned in. Yes he’s Gay..this is why also that time on 106 & PARK him hosting he was o into the winner of last season JoSH Rogers. but when we talked he knew I was gay ofcourse and mayb a aq flirt or 3.. but nothing over the top..and the most humbled person I know..I yet have all the facebook inbox mesg. Ill never share with the world because I so respect everything we talked about. He knew I was a Beyonce stan lol. I so remember us late night talking in mesg on FB. he did a song on Youtube called Beyonce…then which really made me a stan of his was his song I wanna be heard…

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  18. flawda

    LOL i swear to god some people are so stupid. Ya’ll read everything at face value don’t ya’ll. You have to read into the undertones and the messages that are implied. I agree with TDE that the interview was offensive, it’s like they love to reinforce stereotypes of black men.

    Covert racism is not cool. It’s like when white people use code words like “ghetto” to substitute for the “n” word. You have to look deeper.

    [Reply]

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