Kendrick Lamar is a force to be reckoned with.
There’s nothing that rapper Kendrick Lamar can’t do. In the few short months of 2018, Kendrick Lamar has proven himself to be one of the hardest working artists in music today. He opened the 2018 Grammy Awards with a politically charged performance of “Humble” from him album DAMN. before picking up four trophies including Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song.
Lamar then made history by creating the first collaboration in Marvel Studios history between original music and film for his work on the Black Panther soundtrack. The album, which functions as a standalone and companion to the film, shot straight to No. 1 and gave the artist more hits under his belt including “All the Stars” with SZA. He announced a headlining tour that would also dip into the merchandise pop up shop realm on his European leg. Then write Marcus J. Moore revealed that Touchstone Books would be publishing his biography of Lamar and how he’s shaped culture in his thus far short tenure in the spotlight.
But none of that can compare to the historical win announced earlier today.
Kendrick Lamar is the first to win a Pulitzer Prize, an award given for areas of media such as journalism and literature, in the musical composition category for rap music. According to CNN, the award is predominantly given in this category to classical or jazz music, which makes the awarding to DAMN. that much more incredible.
NPR reports the Pulitzer board commending the album:
“A virtuosic song collection, unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.” In addition to topping many year-end best lists (including ours), DAMN. was awarded five Grammys, though it lost out on album of the year to Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic.”
This continues to showcase the upwards trajectory of Kendrick Lamar and not only the limitless possibilities, but also the power that radiates from his work. He’s creating history where it was likely that history was never to be created anew. Kendrick Lamar has proven that hard work, dedication, honesty, vulnerability and only putting out the work that he sees as quality can be transcendent in one’s career.
Kendrick Lamar continues to shift the hip-hop paradigm and make the genre more accessible, more politically driven and more accepted by society.
Kendrick Lamar will continue to change and make history throughout his career. The question is: what will he conquer next?