Kendrick Lamar has won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
First launching in 1943, the award annually honours “a distinguished musical composition of significant dimension by an American”.
This year, it went to Lamar for his 2017 album ‘DAMN.’, which came out last April.
Awarding Kendrick the prize, the Pulitzer judges described ‘DAMN.’ 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”.
As Pitchfork points out, it’s the first time a non-jazz or classical artist has won the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
Pulitzer Prize administrator Dana Canedy told Billboard how the panel were discussing a piece by a different composer that had hip-hop influences when one member asked, “Well if we’re considering a piece of music that has hip-hop influences, why aren’t we considering hip-hop?”, a query that eventually led them to consider Lamar.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) April 16, 2018
The rapper dissed Rivera on his ‘DAMN.‘ track ‘YAH.’ after he said “hip-hop has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism” in the wake of Lamar’s 2015 BET Awards performance. Rivera defended his past comments, adding that he is “an integrationist” and wants “people to live together, to aspire together”.