Kendrick Lamar: “I have written all my life, so receiving the Pulitzer is wonderful”

The American rapper, considered the spokesperson for the African-American community, officially received the award on Wednesday in the music category at the ceremony at Columbia University in New York. He is the first popular music artist to be so honored with the prestigious award.

He received it in all humility, without speech or comment. On April 16, Kendrick Lamar learned of his appointment to the Pulitzer Prize in the music category for his album DAMN. He thus became the first artist not classified in the jazz or classical music category to be awarded the prestigious prize. Before him, neither Prince, nor the Beatles, nor Bob Dylan, to name only those who have since entered the legend, had succeeded in winning.

The awards ceremony finally took place on Wednesday, May 30 at the illustrious American University, Columbia in New York. While the hip-hop artist had not made any official statement or reacted to his nomination last April, he came in person to receive the honors. Receiving his award from the president, he thanked him with a handshake. Touched by the rapper’s simplicity, the audience offered him a standing ovation. It was only after, on the Pulitzer’s Facebook Live (in the 56th minute) this time he expressed a few words, expressing his gratitude: “It’s an honor. I’ve written all my life, so getting that kind of recognition is wonderful ”.

DAMN, “A collection of pieces full of virtuosity”

The Pulitzer’s board chose it on the basis of the rapper’s latest album described as “a collection of tracks full of virtuosity, unified by the authenticity of its language and a rhythmic dynamic that offers striking photos, capturing the complexity of life. modern day of African Americans. ” DAMN had reached number one in the record sales chart in the United States in early May 2017. The music category in the Pulitzer Prize appeared in 1943, 26 years after the creation of the Pulitzer Prize. But until now, no popular modern music artist has yet been awarded.

Originally from the underprivileged district of Compton in Los Angeles, Kendrick Lamar is considered a rapper with a political fiber often evoking social issues in his songs. At 30, the American artist has already collected twelve Grammy Awards, prestigious awards in the American music industry, including five for DAMN at the latest ceremony.

● Kendrick Lamar – DNA. Extract of DAMN.

Among the guests, the journalist Ronan Farrow, son of Woody Allen, awarded for his investigation of Harvey Weinstein in The New Yorker and the New York Times , was also present to receive his award, accompanied by his mother, actress Mia Farrow.

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Kendrick Lamar: “I have written all my life, so receiving the Pulitzer is wonderful”