Monday, January 17, 2022

DAMN! Kendrick Lamar Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Latest Album

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kendrick lamar - damn cover

*Damn! seems like the correct exclamation in light of what we’re talking about because it’s historic. And it’s this: rapper Kendrick Lamar is now the first non-classical and non-jazz artist to win a Pulitzer Prize for music for his 2017 album, ‘DAMN.’

The Pulitzer listing describes Lamar’s recording 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.”

DAMN came out about a year ago and features Rihanna, U2, James Blake and saxophonist Kamasi Washington. The album, now considered a classic, has been described as the more compact successor to Lamar’s experimental, often complex sophomore record, 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly. It sold 353,000 copies its first week, according to Billboard and went platinum earlier this month, the third of his records to do so. Like Butterfly before it, ‘DAMN.’ garnered Lamar an Album of the Year nomination and the award for Best Rap Album at the 60th Grammy Awards, reports theverge.

“LeBron James or the little boy around the corner, we come from the same struggles, and it comes out of my mouth for them to relate to,” Lamar told Dave Chappelle of the album in Interview Magazine last summer. “I don’t want anybody to classify my music. I want them to say, ‘This is somebody who’s recognizing his true feelings … and views on the world, all on one record.’ I want people to recognize that and to take it and apply it to their own lives.”

RELATED NEWS: KENDRICK LAMAR BUYS $2.65M INVESTMENT HOME (PIC) – DJ CRITICAL DROPS ‘ ‘THE DAMN. CHRONIC’ MASHUP (LISTEN)

kendrick lamar damn-tour

The Pulitzer Prize, founded in 1917, first established its music category in 1943. Its recipients were exclusively classical artists until 1997, when trumpet player Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz musician to win the award; Marsalis was only the second African-American composer to win, following composer George Walker’s win with Lilacs just a year before.

Kendrick Lamar has released at least one album every year since his debut in 2015, including, most recently, the accompanying soundtrack for Marvel’s “Black Panther,” which he curated. Need we say more? Nope. Story over.

Congrats on your award, Kendrick.

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