The latest edition of NME features Stormzy on the cover, with the words: ‘DEPRESSION: IT’S TIME TO TALK’ laid over his chest.
Most assumed that the rapper had partnered with the magazine to tackle mental health, but it seems that was not the case.
“@NME You lot are a bunch of real life fucking pussyholes. Proper dickheads,” he tweeted in reply to a post of the cover.
“We've had a good relationship before this, why do you think it is kool to use me as a poster boy for such a sensitive issue without permission?
“You lot have been begging me to be on your cover and you go and do it in the biggest pussyhole, sly way possible. Bunch of fucking paigons.”
Stormzy said he felt "naive" to trust the publication, and noted that while he knows the depression feature may do some good, he has a right to share his mental health experiences when he chooses.
He added 20 minutes later: “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.
“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.
"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."
Update I: He's still tweeting.
"I should at least have a say in whether my face is used for a campaign. I've no issue with sharing my story but, with my permission!
"The reason I'm so angry is because NME have been begging me to be on their cover. I have refused. Then they do this.
"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 again, 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.
"I KNOW it will help others but just imagine a personal battle of yours being published on the front of a magazine without your permission."
"And for those saying @NME done this with no bad intent, they know exactly what they're doing. They couldn't get me on the cover so done this."
Update II: NME responds.
"Hi Stormzy, Editor Mike [Williams] here. I’m sorry that you didn’t know your image would be our cover. Our intentions were only positive.
"We were inspired by your words and wanted to use them as a springboard to talk about depression and how it shouldn’t be taboo.
"We spoke to CALM and YoungMinds in order to make sure the advice we were giving people was on message with how they advise...and we spoke to other people with a profile to gather their stories and advice too.
"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.
"Our only intention was to raise awareness of an issue that we’ve been inspired to talk about following your comments.
"I'm really sorry this has happened. We're a free magazine and were not trying to shift copies, just talk about something important."