On Friday evening, GQ editor-in-chief Jim Nelson issued a response to a statement by TDE CEO Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, which called the magazine's Kendrick Lamar cover story "lazy" and "offensive." Nelson defended the piece as "incredibly positive" and said GQ was "mystified" that TDE pulled Lamar from a scheduled performance at the issue's release party. His statement:
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.