Kendrick Lamar has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his excellent 2017 release, DAMN. The Splendour In The Grass headliner, as pointed out by Pitchfork, is now the first non-classical or jazz artist to be awarded with the coveted prize.
Pulitzer judges have described DAMN. 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”.
The Pulitzer Prize is awarded to “a distinguished musical composition of significant dimension by an American” and first launched in 1943 – DAMN. is a flying example of this, seamlessly blending modern hip hop, RnB and alternative flavours that carry Lamar’s signature social critiques and messages.
Dana Canedy, a Pulitzer Prize administrator said the decision came about as the panel were discussing a piece clearly influenced by hip hop.
“Well if we’re considering a piece of music that has hip-hop influences, why aren’t we considering hip-hop?”, eventually leading the board to consider Lamar.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) April 16, 2018