Since the Pulitzer Prize for Music came into being, every single award has either been received by a classical or jazz artist. Lamar is the first artist in history to win the award while not belonging to either category, for his album, DAMN.
The Pulitzer Board announced their choice on Monday, citing that the LP is collection of virtuosic songs unified by their vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism. It’s truly an honour, and has made world news due to the fact that the prize, for the first time, been awarded out of the usual niche.
DAMN is the fourth studio album created by Lamar and is just one of the latest in a list of acclaimed records attributed to the artist. His latest record has reached double-platinum status in sales, and has been nominated for Album of The Year, and won Best Rap Album.
Lamar On the Now Famous Album
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lamar has this to say about the creativity involved behind the project, “The initial goal was to make a hybrid of my first two commercial albums.” He continued with, “That was our total focus, how to do that sonically, lyrically, through melody – and it came out exactly how I heard it in my head. It’s all pieces of me. My musicality has been driving me since I was four years old. Its just pieces of me, man, and how I execute it is the ultimate challenge. Going from To Pimp a Butterfly to DAMN, that s**t could have crashed and burned if it wasn’t executed right. So I had to be real careful on my subject matter and how I weave in and out of topics, where it still organically feels like me.”
It’s a big achievement, to be sure, and it’s likely to change the way the Pulitzer is handled in the future. For the first time in recent history, we’re starting to see a shift away from the more traditional art styles, especially in a modern world filled to the brim with smart phones, self-driving cars, and Australian betting sites.
The Pulitzer Prize
This isn’t the first time that the Pulitzer committee has given out surprising awards. Bob Dylan received the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, which he graciously accepted at a small reception.
Many believe that the prize given to Lamar was long overdue, and that up until that point, it has been a mostly overlooked prize, aimed more toward classical music. The turn of events also left a lot of people disgruntled.
For many, the Pulitzer is a prize only reserved for classical or jazz, and for it to be given to a hip-hop artist, there was a notable amount of outrage concerning the decision.
But for the members that chose whom the prize went to, such as Jon Pareles and Zachary Woolfe, they believed that DAMN’s honour was well deserved, and not just lucky, and that it was about time that the prize made its way out of its more common genres.
Not only is it a big moment for music, but it has also brought the otherwise ignored award into the limelight, and possibly making it more attainable to other genres.