The American rapper Kendrick Lamar is the first non-classical or jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for music. The award is for musicians who create "distinguished" music. Lamar won for his album "DAMN". The 30-year-old songwriter rapped about the reality of being black in the USA. He wrote songs like "Alright" and "The Blacker the Berry" that became very well known after the police shootings of black people in America. The Pulitzer board said the album was a masterly song collection that captured "the modern African-American life". Lamar has not yet commented on his award.
The Pulitzer Prize is for achievements in journalism, literature, and music. It started in 1917 and the first prize for musical composition was in 1943. Kendrick Lamar is the first rapper and the most commercially successful musician to win it. Classical musicians usually get it. The Pulitzer committee said: "We are very proud....It means that...the best work was awarded a Pulitzer Prize....It shines a light on hip-hop in a completely different way." Sky News said Lamar won: "for his deep lyrical content...and his profound mix of hip hop, spoken word, jazz, soul, funk, poetry and African sounds."