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

The hip-hop artist at Columbia University in New York on Wednesday, May 30, after receiving his Pulitzer Prize in the music category for his album DAMN. Bebeto Matthews/AP

The American rapper, considered the spokesperson for the African-American community, officially received the prize on Wednesday, in the music category during 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 Lamarlearned of his appointment to 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 become legends, had managed to win.

The award ceremony finally took place on Wednesday May 30 at the illustrious American university, Columbia in New York. While the hip-hop artist had made no official statement or reacted to his nomination last April, he came in person to receive the honors. Receiving his prize from the hands of the president, he thanked him with a handshake. Touched by the simplicity of the rapper, the public offered him a standing ovation. It is only afterwards, on the Pulitzer’s Facebook Live (in the 56th minute) that he this time expressed a few words, showing his gratitude: “It is an honor. I’ve written all my life, so to receive this kind of recognition is wonderful.

DAMN“a collection of pieces full of virtuosity”

The Pulitzer Board chose it based on the rapper’s latest album calling it “a virtuoso collection of tracks, unified by the authenticity of its language and rhythmic dynamics that offer landmark photos, capturing the complexity of life. modern African-Americans. DAMN had reached the #1 US Record Sales Chart beginning of 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 been awarded.

Originally from the underprivileged neighborhood of Compton in Los Angeles, Kendrick Lamar is considered a politically inclined rapper who often evokes 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 DAMNat the most recent ceremony.

● Kendrick Lamar – DNA. Extract of DAMN.

Among the guests, the journalist Ronan Farrowson of Woody Allen, awarded for his investigation of Harvey Weinstein in The New Yorkerand the New York Timeswas also present to receive his award, accompanied by his mother, actress Mia Farrow.

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