Kendrick Lamar Becomes First Rapper to Win a Pulitzer Prize

Howard TerryApr 17, 2018

California rapper Kendrick Lamar was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music, it was announced Monday. Its recipients were exclusively classical artists until 1997, when trumpet player Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz musician to win the award; Marsalis was only the second African-American composer to win, following composer George Walker's win with Lilacs just a year before.

Appeared in the April 17, 2018, print edition as 'Sex-Harassment Coverage Gets Pulitzer'.

DAMN. Lamar's fourth album deals with religion, love, personal struggles and racial politics. DAMN. ditches the rap-opera construction of Lamar's 2012 album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, and the politically urgent jazz of 2015's To Pimp A Butterfly, seeing the rapper meditate on relationships with his family, community and newfound fame. Lamar has won 12 Grammy awards since his debut in 2011.

Lamar also recently presided over another ambitious, if commercially and artistically motivated, artistic vehicle with Black Panther: The Album.

The Pulitzer's top prize for public service went to The New York Times and The New Yorker for reporting that sparked the #MeToo movement.

Their separate, original reporting in October of allegations of assault and harassment by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was followed by more than 100 women coming forward to share their experiences at the hands of the film producer.

Also nominated as finalists: Jelani Cobb of The New Yorker for her commentary on race, and Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times for his columns on California's housing crisis.

The Post also won for investigative journalism for detailing decades-old allegations of sexual predation against underage girls by Roy Moore, a Republican candidate for the Senate in Alabama.

In the national reporting category, The New York Times and The Washington Post shared an award for their dogged reporting into the connections between Russian Federation and President Donald Trump, with the publications one-upping each other with scoop after scoop - a newspaper war for the 21st century.

For relentless reporting that exposed the brutal killing campaign behind Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

The 102th edition of the Pulitzer Prizes were announced at Columbia University in NY by administrator Dana Canedy at a time when the U.S. news media still under assault from the White House for peddling "fake news".

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