Published: Wed, April 18, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Kendrick Lamar Makes History with Pulitzer Prize Win

Kendrick Lamar Makes History with Pulitzer Prize Win

The Pulitzer board handed out its first prize for music in 1943, and for the next seven decades, the award was given exclusively to artists working in the genres of classical music and, in more recent years, jazz. The board thought the album was "a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life".

While it may have missed out on a Grammy Award for Album of the Year to Bruno Mars' 24K Magic, DAMN. was certified double platinum in the USA within three months of its release, leading Lamar to curate the soundtrack album for Marvels' Black Panther.

The way Lamar wrote about black culture, street life, police brutality, perseverance, survival and self-worth have consistently caught the eye and ear of all types of listeners.

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Lamar is yet to comment on the award. This makes him the first rapper to take home such an award in the 101 year history of the selections.

Since then, jazz artists Ornette Coleman and Henry Threadgill have been the only other non-classical musicians to receive the honour, and Bob Dylan and Hank Williams were each given an "additional citation".

The Pulitzers, the most prestigious honors in American journalism and the arts, have been awarded since 1917.

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"DAMN" came out in 2017 and it's Lamar's fourth album.

The New York Times and The New Yorker won Pulitzer Prizes on Monday for exposing powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein while Reuters was awarded for global reporting and photography. I [better] not ever hear one of you n-- speak with anything less than respect in your mouth for Kendrick Lamar.

The complete listing of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners is available at the prize's official website.

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