Kendrick Lamar Wins the Pulitzer Prize for Music

DAMN. is the First Hip-Hop Album to Win

Apr 16, 2018 Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Kendrick Lamar's 2017 album DAMN. has won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. This makes Lamar the first hip-hop or rap artist to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. In fact, in the past it's only been given to classical and jazz artists.

The Pulitzer Prize website described DAMN. this way: "Recording released on April 14, 2017, a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life."

Billboard interviewed recently elected Pulitzer Prize Administrator Dana Canedy about Lamar's win. In response to Lamar being the first hip-hop artist to win, Canedy said: "I cannot take credit. We have an amazing system that worked as it should this year. The jury made the recommendation to the board, I am on the board, and then the board considered the jury recommendation, and unanimously voted in favor of this. We're very excited. The system worked the way it should in that a really spectacular work was celebrated today in the music category."

When asked if there was an intense debate to pick the winner, Canedy responded: "Oh absolutely, always, in any category. You'd be amazed if you watched these juries at work; they take seriously every bit of work they consider. In this case, I don't know specifically what the piece was, but in this case they were considering a piece of music they felt had hip-hop influences and said, 'Well if we're considering a piece of music that has hip-hop influences, why aren't we considering hip-hop?' And someone said, 'That's exactly what we should do.' And then someone said, 'We should be considering Kendrick Lamar' and the group said 'absolutely.' So then, right then, they decided to listen to the entire album and decided 'This is it.'"

Below is a tweet from the Pulitzer Prize committee, followed by two videos from the album.

 

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