Pulitzer goes to rapper
CALIFORNIA rapper Kendrick Lamar has become the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize for music, one of the most prestigious arts awards in the United States.
Lamar, 30, (pictured) won the Pulitzer for his 2017 album
DAMN. and was also the first music winner in the 100-year history of the Pulitzers to come from outside of the world of classical or jazz.
Lamar’s fusion of jazz, poetry and blues with social themes and love songs has made him one of the most innovative rappers of his generation. The Pulitzer board on Monday hailed DAMN., which was released in April 2017, 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”. Previous Pulitzer music winners include jazz musicians Wynton Marsalis and Ornette Coleman.
DAMN., Lamar’s fourth album, deals with religion, love, personal struggles and racial politics.
It topped the Billboard 200 album charts for three weeks on its release and powered Lamar to five wins at the Grammy Awards in January, but failed to win the top Grammy prize – album of the year.