Kendrick Lamar has made Pulitzer history! On Monday (Apr. 16), the rapper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for DAMN., his fourth studio album and the one that recently secured the artist a GRAMMY for best rap album of the year . This makes him the first non-classical or jazz artist to take home the coveted award.
The Pulitzer board took to Twitter to share the exciting news, also releasing a statement on their website which describes his 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.” Earlier this year, the album’s tracks “HUMBLE.” and “LOYALTY.” took home GRAMMY awards, and only two years prior, his record To Pimp a Butterfly nabbed best rap album, as well.
It’s a huge win for rap and hip-hop artists, as this will likely open the door to future musicians in the genre being praised not only for their artistic talent, but also for their message. Back in 2016, Kendrick’s mind-blowing performance of “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright” at the GRAMMYs had a very clear message in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Known for challenging musical standards in the hip-hop world, the California native has experimented with his craft by combining elements of soul, jazz and funk to create a sound that’s truly his own. And the 30-year-old musician isn’t new to the scene. He first started making music and performing as a teenager under the stage name K-Dot before gradually gaining traction, making him one of the most groundbreaking artists in the industry today.