Compton rapper, Kendrick Lamar has won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for music.
In the 100-year history of the respected arts awards, there has never been a winner in the music category outside of classical and jazz. The inclusion of hip-hop/rap in what could easily be the most coveted art awards in the United States conveys the genre’s impact on society and the world. In fact, in 2017 hip hop officially topped rock as the biggest music genre in the US.
Other Pulitzer prize winners include Reuters and joint winners the New York Times and New Yorker magazine, for the Weinstein exposé; to name a few. While there is no doubt in the honour of receiving the prize, all winners are not created equally and, in this competition, Lamar has made history.
As the first hip-hop artist to receive the award, the 30-year-old rapper made world history with his album DAMN. Consequentially, he is often branded and labelled as the best rapper alive; which he also self-proclaimed many times. With lyrics that typically reference black empowerment, social injustice and racism in America, Lamar was branded radio friendly but overtly political.
Despite all the criticism, Lamar’s fusion of spoken word, jazz and love and social themes positions him as one of the most innovative artists of his generation. With twelve Grammy awards and multiple nominations, it’s no wonder that he made the list of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.
Inside Kendrick Lamar’s DNA
Born Kendrick Lamar Duckworth in the controversial suburb of Compton, California; home to rap pioneers – NWA. His childhood and life in Compton is often described in his music and adds to his appeal.
Under the alias K-Dot, Lamar released several mixtapes and gained fame in the underground hip-hop scene. His collaboration with mainstream artists and production houses catapulted him to stardom. After DAMN, Lamar produced the soundtrack for the first ever black superhero box-office hit – Black Panther.
Kendrick Lamar Toronto 2018 Concert
With many fans in Canada, Lamar will be returning to Toronto as part of Top Dawg Entertainment’s The Championship Tour. The superstar will be joined by other hip-hop artists, like SZA and ScHoolboy Q at the Budweiser Stage on Tuesday, June 12th. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.