Tags: kendrick lamar | pulitzer prize | rapper | award | first

Kendrick Lamar's Pulitzer Win Makes Him First Rapper to Receive It

Kendrick Lamar's Pulitzer Win Makes Him First Rapper to Receive It

Rapper Kendrick Lamar attends the ceremony honoring him with the Keys of the City of Compton, in Compton, California, on Feb. 13, 2016. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

Monday, 16 April 2018 06:19 PM

Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music on Monday, making the California rapper the first to win the prestigious award outside classical or jazz music. 

Lamar, 30, won the Pulitzer for his 2017 album "DAMN." Rap officially surpassed rock in 2017 as the biggest music genre in the United States, The Associated Press reported.

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 last year and powered Lamar to five wins at the Grammy Awards in New York in January.

But the album failed to win the top Grammy prize - album of the year - in what was seen as a snub by music industry voters for the rap genre despite its rising popularity.

Only two hip-hop albums have ever won the Grammy for album of the year: Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in 1999 and Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" in 2004.

Lamar was born and raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, the home of hip-hop pioneers NWA, and started making music as a 16-year-old.

He also produced the soundtrack for the 2018 superhero box-office hit film "Black Panther," and performed the lead single "Pray For Me" with The Weeknd. 

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Kendrick Lamar became a Pulitzer Prize winner for music on Monday, making the 30-year-old California rapper the first to win outside the classical or jazz music genres.
kendrick lamar, pulitzer prize, rapper, award, first
Monday, 16 April 2018 06:19 PM
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