Kendrick Lamar was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music for last year’s album DAMN.. The Pulitzer Prize primarily honours notable or landmark work in American journalism, which this year focused on Trump and sexual harassment in Hollywood. The Pulitzer Prize described DAMN. 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. is the first work of popular music (rather than classical or, occasionally, jazz) to win the prize since it was introduced in 1943. Pulitzer Prize Administrator Dana Canedy said in a Billboard interview that the decision was a unanimous one. It’s an unexpected change for Pulitzer, but a thoroughly well-deserved one for an artist whose incisive and uncompromising work is both critically revered, and hugely successful commercially. Read our reflections from last year on DAMN. and the theological depths behind it.