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Kendrick Lamar wins a Pulitzer prize for his album DAMN

Shyanne Thomas, Courier Staff

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There is no doubt that Kendrick Lamar is one of the greatest artists of our generation and of all time. Lamar now has another accolade to add to his extremely impressive list of awards. As of April 16, 2018, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is a Pulitzer Prize winner for his album “DAMN.” This award comes just two days after the one-year anniversary of the album.

“DAMN.” was something very different from his last two albums. It was an album that people saw on two different ends of the spectrum. There are people that argue it is his worst album (although when talking about Lamar albums, this isn’t necessarily a horrible thing), and then there are people that argue it was his greatest album out of his four studio albums. It tackles many issues within his own life and life within America in general.

In some songs, he samples audio clips taken from Fox News in which the news anchors discuss how they believe Lamar’s rap music as a whole does more damage to African-American culture than anything else. They also question Lamar’s intentions when they cite a lyric from a song on his previous album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” that talks about police brutality.

In other songs, Lamar talks about life growing up in Compton, California, and also discusses an incident in which Lamar’s father and current Top Dawg Entertainment owner Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith has a coincidental run-in with each other when Lamar was just a child, in which Tiffith robbed a KFC restaurant that Lamar’s father worked at. Lamar, himself, has also stated that this album contains what he believes is his best song, “FEAR.”

Throughout the span of Lamar’s career, he has taken home a total of 86 awards, twelve of those being Grammys. In the year following the release of “DAMN.” The album has brought in six awards, counting the Pulitzer Prize, and has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The Pulitzer Prize is the most prestigious award due to the history of the award. By becoming the winner of the award, Lamar is the first rapper to win the prize and he is also the first non-classical and non-jazz artist to win. In their own words, they chose “DAMN.” because it is 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.,” by Lamar.

There is no question Lamar was very deserving of the award due to how real the album is in how he explains his life and racism in America. Lamar’s name will always be mentioned when people discuss which musicians were great storytellers and that not only goes for this album, but all four of his albums.

If anyone has not listened to the album in its entirety yet, it is highly suggested that you take some time to sit and truly listen to what he is saying. Listen to the stories of his childhood, the story of his father and current label owner, and his views on the current state of our government. This album absolutely does not disappoint and will leave you jaw-dropped with the final song. If you’re feeling adventurous, play it backwards. Start with the final song and work your way to the first. Even backwards, it follows a timeline and still makes perfect sense.

Lamar has made history several times throughout the span of his career and winning the Pulitzer Prize launches him further into the discussion of who the greatest rapper of all-time is.

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Kendrick Lamar wins a Pulitzer prize for his album DAMN