PACKED: Kendrick Lamar's show was an intense affair.Photo: Lyn McCarthyPhoto Contributed
PACKED: Kendrick Lamar's show was an intense affair.Photo: Lyn McCarthyPhoto Contributed Contributed

Damn! Splendour headliner Kendrick Lamar wins Pulitzer prize

THIS year's Splendour in the Grass headline act Kendrick Lamar has become the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Lamar, 30, won with his 2017 album Damn and in doing so became the first artist in the 100-year history of the prestigious US awards to come from outside of the world of classical or jazz music.

He has already won 12 Grammy awards after releasing four albums: Section.80 (2011), Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012), To Pimp a Butterfly (2015) and Damn (2017).

 

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is an American hip hop recording artist from Compton, California, who embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the moniker K-Dot.
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is an American hip hop recording artist from Compton, California, who embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the moniker K-Dot.

 

The Pulitzer board hailed Damn as a "virtuosi song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life".

The New York Times pointed this week to the fact that what was normally an afterthought - the Pulitzer Prize for music - was the most discussed award of the year.

"It was not only the first time a music Pulitzer was given to a hip-hop album, but also to any work outside the more rarefied precincts of classical and, occasionally, jazz composition - indeed, to an album that reached No. 1 on the pop chart," the publication said.

"And while it has been reported that Damn was the unanimous choice of the Pulitzer music jury, the award was met in other quarters with disgruntlement and even outrage."

 

Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna in a scene from the film clip for their song Loyalty.
Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna in a scene from the film clip for their song Loyalty.

 

The publication also commented on the fact the award took the prize outside a "small, insular academic music scene".

Previous Pulitzer music winners include jazz musicians Wynton Marsalis and Ornette Coleman, but Marsalis was the first jazz musician one to win it in 1997.

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.

Lamar 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.

The hip hop artist from Compton, in Los Angeles, California, already offered a show-stopping performance at Bluesfest 2016.

WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE



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