It’s been a year and two days since Kendrick Lamar released his fourth album, Damn and the rapper is still making history with this project. On Monday afternoon, K. Dot was awarded the Pulitzer prize for the Grammy award-winning album. The Compton lyricist became the first rapper ever to receive the prestigious award.
The Pulitzer is mostly known as an award exclusive to hard-hitting journalism, but in 1943 the rules to who can receive a Pulitzer prize were changed to include a music category that at first was mostly given to classical composers. The Pulitzer board describes Kendrick’s 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 was touted as an instant classic receiving critical acclaim from music critics and sold an upward of 600,000 copies in its first week. Since signing to Interscope Records, The “Humble” rapper has dropped classic after classic starting with the culture shifting ‘Good Kid M.A.A.D. City’ followed by the ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ which was Kendrick’s more conscious album that addressed the societal and systemic problems that the Black community faces.
Other prominent winners of this year’s Pulitzer awards are Ronan Farrow of ‘The New Yorker’ and The New York Times’ journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey will be awarded for their breaking news and follow up coverage of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault/harassment scandal that put a spotlight on the culture in Hollywood.