Pulitzer Prize organizers announced today that Kendrick Lamar has won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. His award is based on his 2017 album DAMN., making Lamar the first rapper to win a Pulitzer — furthermore, he’s the first non-classical or jazz artist to receive the award. According to Reuters, the Pulitzer board hailed the album as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
DAMN. is Lamar’s fourth studio album and certified double platinum in the U.S. along with various gold and platinum certifications around the world. Additionally, the album graced our Best of 2017 list and Lamar has obtained several awards for the album, including the Grammy award for Best Rap Album in 2018.
In the last few years, songwriters have been recognized for their craft by prestigious organizations like the Pulitzer board. For example, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first songwriter to receive the prestigious award. With Lamar’s Pulitzer win, it’s an iconic moment for not only hip-hop, but musicians and songwriters as a whole.