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Kendrick Lamar First Rapper to Win Pulitzer Prize

The 30-years-old US rapper Kendrick Lamar has won the Pulitzer Prize for Music as first non-classical or jazz artist for his album DAMN on Monday.

The rapper who started making music at 16 is also the most commercially successful musician achieving critical acclaim for his deep lyrical content, politically charged live performances, and his profound mix of hip hop, spoken word, jazz, soul, funk, poetry and African sounds.

The Pulitzer board said the album was a “virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life”.

As Lamar’s fourth album, The prize winning DAMN deals with religion, love, personal struggles and racial politics which topped the Billboard 200 album charts for three weeks on its release last year.

Though the Pulitzer board has awarded special honors to Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Hank Williams, a popular figure like Lamar has never won the prize for music.

Apart from this, he also produced the soundtrack for the 2018 superhero box-office hit film Black Panther, won 12 Grammy Awards, though all three of his major-label albums have lost in the top ‘album of the year’ category.

> Shatabdi Sarker Poushi

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