Kendrick Lamar has said hip-hop should have been recognised by the Pulitzer Prize “a long time ago” in a new interview.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Lamar said the prestigious award was “one of those things I heard about in school, but I never thought I’d be a part of it.” He continued: “It’s one of those things that should have happened with hip-hop a long time ago.
“It took a long time for people to embrace us – people outside of our community, our culture – to see this not just as vocal lyrics, but to see that this is really pain, this is really hurt, this is really true stories of our lives on wax.”
He said that getting the recognition for the genre was not only “great for [him]self”, but made him feel “good about hip-hop in general.” Writers like Tupac, Jay-Z, Rakim, Eminem, Q-Tip, Big Daddy Kane, Snoop… It lets me know that people are actually listening further than I expected.”
The star added of collecting the award: “When I looked up at that man on the podium today, I just had countless pictures in my mind of my mother putting me in suits to go to school. Suit and tie from the dollar store, from thrift shops, when I was a kid.”
Meanwhile, Lamar was one of a record 928 people to have been invited to become members of The Academy this week (June 25), the organisation behind the Oscars. The rapper and musician Sufjan Stevens were honoured for their recent work in film – Lamar executively produced and curated the soundtrack for Black Panther, while Stevens composed tracks for Call Me By Your Name.