Kendrick Lamar accepted the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2017 LP, DAMN., during a ceremony at Columbia University in New York City. Kendrick Lamar is the first non-classical or jazz artist who has ever received such an honor.
The Pulitzer award presenter called DAMN., Lamar's fourth record, a "virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African American life," Rolling Stone reports.
"It's an honor ... I've been writing my whole life, so to get this type of recognition – it's beautiful," said the rapper and poet after the prestigious ceremony.
Double-platinum DAMN. also won Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year at this year's Grammy Awards.
Last August, Lamar shared with Rolling Stone,
"The initial goal was to make a hybrid of my first two commercial albums," he said. "That was our total focus, how to do that sonically, lyrically, through melody – and it came out exactly how I heard it in my head. … It's all pieces of me. My musicality has been driving me since I was four years old. It's just pieces of me, man, and how I execute it is the ultimate challenge. Going from To Pimp a Butterfly to DAMN., that sh*t could have crashed and burned if it wasn't executed right. So I had to be real careful on my subject matter and how I weave in and out of the topics, where it still organically feels like me."