Written by: Alex Green
The Pulitzer Prize for Music is an annual award that honors, “a distinguished musical composition of significant dimension by an American.”
This year that American is Kendrick Lamar.
The 2018 award marks the first time since its inception in 1943 that the Pulitzer was given to a non-jazz or classical artist.
Lamar’s DAMN. album garnered him the award. The Pulitzer judges described DAMN. 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.”
Of DAMN, SEM’s Hip-Hop Editor Andy Kirkpatrick declared: “Many works of art reflect on mankind’s inherent morality. Kendrick Lamar uses his latest record, DAMN., not to ask whether people are born good or bad, but to ask why we are bad, and whether mankind has any hope of redemption.”
He goes on to point out: “…Where To Pimp A Butterfly declared that change is possible if people are willing to endure the struggle to get there, DAMN. finds Kendrick wondering what to do in a world where few people will ever live up to their full potential and even fewer will put their talents towards changing things and uplifting others.”