It was a big moment in hip-hop in April as the Kendrick Lamar, took home the Pulitzer Prize for music.
Lamar has topped the charts with his new album, “DAMN,” but, even with its huge nominations, the album failed to take home the Grammy in January.
The Pulitzer Prize began to recognize a category in music in 1943, but it wasn’t until 1997 that the prize was first awarded to jazz musicians. Lamar received the honor because of the complexity of his music and the way his voice moves through it. This creates a unique and dynamic sound. The 2017 album “merge[s] jazz fusion with some trap music,” as he put it in the song “Black Friday.” The album “DAMN” chronicles what Lamar went through before and after he became famous.
With hit songs like “Loyalty,” “DNA” and “Humble,” Lamar managed to garner millions of plays over the course of a few months. This album was record-breaking, beating artists like Drake and J. Cole, who are staples in hip-hop. However, many Lamar fans have actually argued that “DAMN” is not his best work, as Lamar is far from finished.
Numbers don’t lie when it comes to the Compton rapper’s latest project, “DAMN”. This controversial album made its way to the topic of conversation as well as the top of the charts. The album sold over 3.5 million copies, including digital streams, since the album came out in 2017.
Going double platinum, the album has been nominated for a handful of awards and received best rap album of the year. This album is very special in that it is one of the only rap albums in which all 14 songs hit the Billboard Hot 100 list, and he is only the fifth artist to achieve this honor. The Beatles were actually one of the only groups who ever had 14 chart-topping songs simultaneously. Each song in “DAMN” breaking over 14 million streams, it seems like the Compton rapper hasn’t lost a step. It is safe to say that Lamar is the best rapper of the time as far as numbers are concerned.
Unfortunately, Lamar has received some negative feedback from critics who argue that rap and hip-hop do not constitute as music. Many people are angry that Lamar won a prize as honorable as the Pulitzer with the style of music that he presents.
In an interview with New York Times, prize administrator Dana Canedy elaborated on what the award has done for hip-hop and what it has done for the Pulitzer community.
“It shines a light on hip-hop in a completely different way,” Canedy said. “This is a big moment for hip-hop music and a big moment for the Pulitzers.”
Through “DAMN,” Lamar combines his first two mainstream albums to form a jazz-trap feel. Due to the numbers and accolades, “DAMN” will forever be a classic album in hip-hop and will influence how the world sees hip-hop as a music genre.