DAMN gets one of America’s most prestigious awards in huge moment for hip-hop.
The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes have been revealed, as expected The New Yorker and The New York Times‘ coverage of the Harvey Weinstein scandal won a joint award for journalism highest accolades.
The biggest surprise was the fact that Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN album took the Pulitzer Prize for Music. We say surprise because this is the first time a rap album won but Kendrick thoroughly deserves this accolade.
It’s a nearly unprecedented occasion; all the winners in this category have always been jazz or classical compositions. Kendrick Lamar being the first mainstream artist to win the award just shows the power his words have on the masses and cements rap as an art form.
Lamar failed to win the Grammy for Best Album earlier this year, losing out to Bruno Mars’ 24KMagic, he did pick up a Grammy for Best Rap album. DAMN winning a Pulitzer show that unlike the Grammy’s who seem to reward sales instead quality — The Pulitzer committee seems to have its finger on the pulse.
“The time was right,” Dana Canedy, the administrator of the prizes, said in an interview shortly after the announcement.
“We are very proud of this selection. It means that the jury and the board judging system worked as it’s supposed to — the best work was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.”
She added: “It shines a light on hip-hop in a completely different way. This is a big moment for hip-hop music and a big moment for the Pulitzers.”
The board described the album 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.”