Kendrick Lamar wins Pulitzer Prize for ‘DAMN.’—and the internet is thrilled

In a historic win, Kendrick Lamar on Monday was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his album DAMN. He’s the first rapper—and non-classical or jazz artist, for that matter—to win the Pulitzer, and the internet is delighted.

On its website, the Pulitzer board praised 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.”

Some pointed out that Lamar won a Pulitzer after losing to Bruno Mars for the record of the year Grammy Award.

Plenty of others celebrated the win for its implications in history and art.

As Vox points out, the Pulitzer for music has, unsurprisingly, largely recognized bodies of works by musicians of a particular race and gender. A woman didn’t win the award until 1983, and an African-American didn’t win until 1996.

But Lamar’s win signals a shift in the Pulitzer Prize Board’s purview to extend beyond classical music—and is much-deserved recognition for an iconic album.

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