Kendrick Lamar Accepts His Historic Pulitzer Prize (Video)
Over the last few years, Kendrick Lamar has been on the kind of run enjoyed by few artists of any oeuvre. His album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was hailed as an instant classic and went on to be certified platinum, for over a million copies sold. To Pimp A Butterfly, his next release, was nominated for an astounding 11 Grammy Awards, eventually being named Best Rap Album for that year. With his most recent album, DAMN, Kendrick was at the apex of both critical and commercial success. The album was the best selling in any genre in 2017, and also won Best Rap Album. Many also believed the album should have been named Album Of The Year.
Though DAMN did not win the highest award from the Recording Academy, in April, it was bestowed with an even higher distinction, when it earned Kendrick a Pulitzer Prize in Music Composition. The achievement made Kendrick Lamar the first non-Jazz or Classical artist to ever win the award. Not Prince, Bob Dylan, The Beatles or any other legendary popular music artist ever took home the prestigious prize.
Today, Kendrick was presented with the actual award at a ceremony held in New York City at Columbia University. At an event attended by journalists and dignitaries, Lamar took his prize and spoke about the momentous occasion for the first time, publicly. Though he did not give a formal speech, Lamar said of the occasion “It’s an honor. I’ve been writing my whole life, so to get this type of recognition, it’s beautiful.”
Kendrick’s arrival and the entire event were captured on video by the Pulitzer Prize organization. The presentation to Kendrick can be seen at 53:04, and his remarks can be viewed at 55:30.