The winners of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize were announced today, rewarding the best in journalism and arts. There were some big names in there, particularly Ronan Farrow and the New York Times team winning for their work in exposing Harvey Weinstein. This is a weird awards ceremony to predict, but its unexpected turns make it unique. This isn’t just a Best Of the Year award; this is about representing significant contributions to American life. When it comes to the Pulitzer Prize for Music, a prize ‘for a distinguished musical composition of significant dimension by an American that has had its first performance in the United States during the year’, they tend to favour opera and classical compositions.
But not this year!
Kendrick Lamar won the freaking Pulitzer!
DAMN was easily the best reviewed album of 2017, but even then, I don’t think anyone could have predicted this. The Pulitzers are oh too frequently white as all hell and certainly don’t embrace black music in this manner on the regular. I believe he is the first non-classical or jazz artist to win it. Lamar’s work is urgent, groundbreaking, daring and some of the best cultural commentary our time has.
But apparently it still wasn’t good enough to win the Album of the Year Grammy. Go figure.
(Header photograph from Getty Images)