On Monday, Kendrick Lamar became the first non-classical or jazz musician to receive the Pulitzer Prize for music. The Pulitzer board praised the album as a “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
This is a legendary win for hip-hop. Last year Jay-Z was the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and LL Cool J was the first to receive Kennedy Center Honors, but no award as prestigious as the Pulitzer had ever been offered to a hip hop artist until now. If you haven’t yet given Kendrick Lamar a good listen, please do yourself a favor and dive into his four studio albums: Section 80 (2011), Good Kid M.A.A.D City (2012), To Pimp a Butterfly (2015), Damn (2017).