The UK grime artist claims his image was used without permission.

Stormzy has criticized the NME for using his image without permission on a cover story about depression in the music industry.

The UK grime star recently spoke to Channel 4 News about his battle with depression, but he slammed the UK music magazine for using him as a “poster boy” for the issue without talking to him for the piece.

“You lot are a bunch of real life fucking pussyholes. Proper dickheads”, Stormzy said on Twitter. “We’ve had a good relationship before this, why do you think it is kool to use my me as a poster boy for such a sensitive issue without permission?”

“Depression is a very very sensitive issue and it’s something I’ve spoken about. 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.

“After I spoke on it I realised 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 also said that NME had been “begging” him to be on the cover, but he refused.

“They then see me talking bout my journey with depression and think yeah we’ve got him now,” he continued. For those saying done this with no bad intent, they know exactly what they’re doing. They couldn’t get me on the cover so done this.”

NME editor-in-chief Mike Williams defended the magazine’s position via the magazine’s Twitter account , explaining that the team spoke to mental health charities CALM and YoungMinds about the piece.

“I’m sorry that you didn’t know your image would be our cover. Our intentions were only positive,” he said.

“We used your image as we felt it would resonate most with our readers, and I can only apologise again that you didn’t know… We’re a free magazine and were not trying to shift copies, just talk about something important.”

In response, Stormzy argued that while NME is a free magazine, it still makes money from advertising revenue.

FACT has reached out to Stormzy and NME for comment.

Update, March 17: NME journalist Andrew Trendell, who penned the interview in question, has issued a statement via Twitter.

“I had absolutely no part in the cover itself, the photos used nor the cover lines,” he wrote last night (March 16). Trendell also added that he has “lost loved ones to depression, dealt with it first-hand and seen the stigma that surrounds it with countless others.”

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