Rapper and Compton native Kendrick Lamar this week received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his album “Damn,’’ the first rap artist to ever win the accolade.
The prize has traditionally gone to classical, jazz or opera performances. But Pulitzer judges hailed Lamar’s 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.’’
The 30-year-old Lamar has won 12 Grammy Awards in his career. “Damn’’ won earlier this year for best rap album, while the album’s single “Humble’’ won for best rap performance, rap song and music video.
Other African Americans who have received the Pulitzer Prize in music include pianist Scott Joplin, composer Duke Ellington, jazz legend Ornette Coleman, and jazz great Wynton Marsalis.