Kendrick Lamar Is Right to Be Offended by GQ's Man of the Year Article
Last Tuesday, GQ Magazine had its annual "Men of the Year Awards," revealing the dudes they deemed best of 2013. The honorees: Justin Timberlake, Matthew McConaughey, Will Ferrell, Kendrick Lamar and the late James Gandolfini. The covers of each are, in GQ fashion, sharp and personable, with all of the talented gentlemen looking as handsome as ever. It's too bad that Kendrick Lamar and his manager and friend, Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, weren't huge fans of the article that came out of Lamar's time spent with interviewer Steve Marsh — so they were no shows at the party.
Can you blame them, though? In his statement about why he pulled Lamar from performing at the GQ party, Tiffith said (quite diplomatically) that the cover story...
Tiffith is speaking reasonably. Marsh expressed exaggerated "awe" at the fact that Lamar was so "disciplined," making observations about how the rapper abstained from weed and booze. Because that's all hip-hop is, right? Tiffith went on to say that his criticism of the article did not mean he disrespected GQ:
But as soon as he used the words "racial overtones," the rest of Tiffith's statement fell on deaf ears. There's nothing that hardens ears to criticism like being accused of (real) prejudices. Editor-in-chief Jim Nelson responded to Tiffith's in expected but still disappointing "we did nothing wrong!" style:
So many classic trademarks of ignorance — Nelson seems like he didn't even read, let alone comprehend, Tiffith and Lamar's concerns that Marsh's article perpetuated negative and racially charged tropes about hip-hop; he sloppily toots GQ's horn, as if Lamar should be eternally grateful for the honor; and he actually flips the blame onto Top Dawg Records — they deprived their fans! How dare they? If only Nelson had responded in kind and apologized in any capacity. And what does writer Steve Marsh have to say about the criticism? Well, nothing yet.
It's actually very man-of-the-year-esque for Lamar to stand behind his principles.