Published On: Tue, Apr 17th, 2018

Kendrick Lamar becomes first rapper to win Pulitzer music prize

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California rapper Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music on Monday for his album “DAMN.,” organizers announced.

FILE PHOTO: 2017 MTV Video Music Awards – Arrivals – Inglewood, California, U.S., 27/08/2017 – Musician Kendrick Lamar. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Lamar, 30, is the first rapper to win the prestigious award. The Pulitzer follows the five Grammy awards won by Lamar in January for the album.

Previous Pulitzer music winners include jazz musicians Wynton Marsalis and Ornette Coleman.

Rap is now officially the biggest music genre in the United States after surpassing rock in 2017.

Lamar’s fusion of jazz, poetry and blues with social themes and love songs has made him one of the most innovative rappers of his generation.

The Pulitzers, the most prestigious honors in American journalism and the arts, have been awarded since 1917. Lamar’s Pulitzer win marked a significant departure as previous honorees have been drawn from the worlds of classical music and jazz.

The Pulitzer board on Monday hailed “DAMN.”, which was released in April 2017, 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.”

“DAMN.,” Lamar’s third album, topped the Billboard 200 album charts for three weeks on its release last year.

Lamar is from the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, the home of hip-hop pioneers NWA.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis

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