Stormzy Rips 'NME' for Putting Him on the Cover

Stormzy Rips 'NME' for Putting Him on the Cover
Earlier today (March 16), NME released the cover for its weekly issue featuring South London grime MC Stormzy, who was quoted for a feature piece titled, "Depression: It's Time to Talk." However, the Gang Signs & Prayer MC says he didn't give the publication permission to make him the cover star.

Taking to Twitter this morning, the grime star (born Michael Omari) expressed his frustration with the magazine, calling them "proper dickheads."

"You lot know I don't rant or open my mouth up for no reason but serious NME magazine are the biggest bunch of sly, foul PAIGONS," he wrote. "They've used me on their cover without my permission. Depression is a very very sensitive issue and it's something I've spoken about."

Stormzy's own battles with mental health are presented on Gang Signs & Prayer, particularly on emotionally charged closer "Lay Me Bare." The independently released LP has already set chart records and achieved Gold status in his native UK. 

"It is a subject that isn't the easiest thing to speak about. And I've been careful in how I've dealt with it in the media," he continued on Twitter. "After I spoke on it I realized how widespread the issue is which made me think ok kool maybe that was the right thing to do at first. However using my face as a poster boy for it to sell your magazine is so foul and below the belt I will never respect you lot."

Stormzy then said that NME had been trying to get him on the cover prior to the incident, an offer which he refused. As one Twitter user pointed out, the publication had also used the cover as the header image for their Twitter profile.

"So after me refusing to be on their cover, they then see me talking bout my journey with depression and think yeah we've got him now," he wrote. "My issue is not about me speaking out about it. That is fine and I'm happy I'm able to help but they've been very foul here."

The publication responded to the MC through Twitter, writing, "I'm really sorry this has happened. We're a free magazine and were not trying to shift copies, just talk about something important."

"DEAD," Stormzy replied. "You're NOT a non-profit organisation. The more copies you dish out the more you charge for advertising. You will make money from this."

NME has since pulled the cover image and associated branding from its Twitter profile.

UPDATE (03/16, 12:35 p.m. EST): NME Senior Reporter and author of the feature Andrew Trendell, who authored the feature, has shared a statement about the cover photo and issue, saying, "I absolutely had no part in the cover itself, the photos used nor the cover lines. That is not my responsibility and was done by other people entirely." Find his statement below. Read through Stormzy's tweets below.