In April it was announced that Kendrick Lamar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for DAMN. In a unanimous choice from the Pulitzer music jury, the 30-year-old is the first rapper to win a Pulitzer Prize. He is also the first winner who is not a classical or jazz musician.
Dancing around themes of religion, love, social injustices, and the circle of life, DAMN. is a genius piece of work that the board has called “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
Dana Canedy, the administrator of the prizes, declared “the time was right” in an interview shortly after the winners were announced. "It shines a light on hip-hop in a completely different way,” she continued. "This is a big moment for hip-hop music and a big moment for the Pulitzers.”
On Wednesday (May 30th), Kendrick accepted the honor. While not commenting during his acceptance, Kendrick shared his feelings afterward:
“It’s an honor. I’ve been writing my whole life, so to get this type of recognition - it’s beautiful.”
A perfect balance of a braggadocious attitude with mellow and “HUMBLE.” vibes, DAMN. was crafted to tell a story as a whole while containing several stories that all intertwine. From the structured music to the Little Homies co-directed visuals, Kendrick Lamar is most certainly turning into a legend in front of our very eyes. Salute.