Why Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer Win Is History-Making | Smart News

The Pulitzer board handed out its first prize for music in 1943, and for the next seven decades, the award was given exclusively to artists working in the genres of classical music and, in more recent years, jazz. But yesterday, Kendrick Lamar bucked that trend. The Compton-born rapper known for his searing rhymes was awarded a Pulitzer for his 2017 album DAMN., making him the first hip-hop artist to ever win the coveted prize.

As Joe Coscarelli reports for the New York Times, the Pulitzer board 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…

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