Kendrick Lamar Wins Historic Pulitzer Prize.
On April 16, 2018 Compton, Calif. Rapper Kendrick Lamar album “DAMN” took home an elusive honor by winning the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for music.
This is not only an honor for Lamar but a honor for the hip-hop community.
Compton, Calif. rapper Lamar lost the Grammy Award for album of the year to Bruno Mars in late January. “DAMN” was his fourth LP and third to be nominated but once again fell short to the trophy considered to be the top prize in popular music.
Some say blessings are a disguise and this may win may have been just that for Lamar. A prize that may never have seemed within reach, the Pulitzer Prize for music is a prize that has never been awarded to a rapper.
Lamar is the first rapper to win the award since the Pulitzers expanded to music in 1943. He is also the first winner who is not a classical or jazz musician.
Dana Candey, the administrator of the prize said in an interview, “It shines a light on hip-hop in a completely different way. This is a big moment for hip-hop music and a big moment for the Pulitzers.” (New York Times)
The board’s decision to award Lamar was unanimous. They called the album a “virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
In other words, the album was pure genius.
“DAMN” has sold more than 3.5 billion albums including digital release since its release in April 2017. “DAMN” was also awarded five Grammys.
Lamar recently presided over another ambitious and artistically motivated album with “Black Panther: The Album.
Lamar has broken the barrier for many by winning this award. He has set a new bar and he is showing the complexity of hip-hop.
Let us all continue to appreciate the Black Excellence and continue to break barriers against us.