Kendrick Lamar Awarded Pulitzer Prize

Contributed by Amaya Starkey

Since the beginning of his career, Kendrick Lamar has seamlessly melded political topics and hip-hop together and Monday he received a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions.

Despite the recent transitions throughout hip-hop, Lamar has remained socially conscious and musically relevant in comparison to his counterparts.

As the very FIRST hip-hop artist to win the music Pulitzer for his critically acclaimed album “DAMN”, Lamar has become one of there biggest leaders of this generation.

Lamar has created songs dedicated to radical millennials around the nation. Similar to rappers before him such as the late great Tupac Shakur, Lamar is not taking a backseat to the political struggles that are going on in our nation. Instead, he has used his voice to uplift and inspire many.

CNN compares Lamar to artists like Nina Simone, who created “Mississippi Goddamn”, an anthem for the civil rights movement back in the 1960s.

Dana Canedy, the supervisor of the prizes, said in an interview with the New York Times,”The time was right. 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 continued, “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.”

“DAMN” who featured some of music’s heavy hitters like Rihanna and Mike WiLL Made-It, along with many others, topped the charts and was one of 2017’s most streamed albums. The album touched on various topics including race, faith, and the negative sides of success.

Lamar discussed his feeling toward his increased fame in an interview with the LA Times, “[E]verything was moving so fast. I didn’t know how to digest it,” Lamar said. “The best thing I did was go back to the city of Compton, to touch the people who I grew up with and tell them the stories of the people I met around the world.”

Lamar has made his dedication to his community and hip-hop very clear through his creative genius, singular focus, and compassion for those who look just like him. DAMN represents blackness, rebellion against oppression, and embracing your differences.

Lamar has single-handedly curated a soundtrack for the today’s culture that inspires them to push past the norm and demand respect, which is only something to be applauded.

Pulitzer Prizes are annually awarded at a luncheon in late May, which is usually about a month after the names of the winners have been announced.


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