Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed album DAMN. has been awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Music, it was announced on Monday.
Lamar is the first non-classical or jazz musician to win the esteemed award. The Pulitzer Prizes called the album “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.” Previous years’ winners include Angel’s Bone by Du Yun and In for a Penny, In for a Pound, by Henry Threadgill.
DAMN. was nominated for multiple Grammy Awards in 2018, including Album of the Year, and won five — Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song (“HUMBLE.”), Best Rap Performance (“HUMBLE.”), Best Music Video (“HUMBLE.”), and Best Rap/Sung Performance (“LOYALTY.” ft. Rihanna). EW’s review of the album praised Lamar as “peerless,” writing, “DAMN. contains stunning beauty if you listen closely.”
Fans reacted with praise and excitement on Twitter, congratulating the artist and noting that this major accomplishment happened before Lamar has even won a Grammy for Album of the Year.