Kendrick Lamar, Frank Bidart, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, and others win 2018 Pulitzer Prizes

American rapper and songwriter, Kendrick Lamar, has emerged one of the winners of the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes. Lamar’s album DAMN. won him the award in the music category. Released last April, DAMN. has been praised as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life”.

In January, DAMN. won Lamar a Grammy for best rap album, and now it’s the first rap album to win a Pulitzer Prize. Speaking about the fourteen-track album, Clay Cane of CNN said: “DAMN is a punch in the gut, a wake-up call to people who are in intellectual comas. The Pulitzer honor goes to Lamar … it signifies so much more: blackness and the revolutionary spirit, not respectability politics, and you would have to be soulless to not feel and hear him. He is the soundtrack of youth culture today and that is why the country should be listening.”

Announcement of the Pulitzer Prize winners was made at Columbia University by the Pulitzer administrator, Dana Canedy.

Geared towards “honoring excellence in journalism and the arts,” the Pulitzer Prizes of the year go to the following winners in their various categories:

Public Service: The New York Times, for reporting led by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, and The New Yorker, for reporting by Ronan Farrow

Breaking News Reporting: Staff of The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa

Investigative Reporting: Staff of The Washington Post

Explanatory Reporting: Staffs of The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network

Local Reporting: The Cincinnati Enquirer Staff

National Reporting: Staffs of The New York Times and The Washington Post

International Reporting: Claire Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato of Reuters

Feature Writing: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, freelance reporter

Commentary: John Archibald of Alabama Media Group

Criticism: Jerry Saltz of New York Magazine

Editorial Writing: Andie Dominick of The Des Moines Register

Editorial Cartooning: Jake Halpern, freelance writer, and Michael Sloan, freelance cartoonist, The New York Times

Breaking News Photography: Ryan Kelly of The Daily Progress

Feature Photography: Photography Staff of Reuters

Fiction: Less, by Andrew Sean Greer

Drama: Cost of Living, by Martyna Majok

History: The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, by Jack E. Davis

Biography: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser  

Poetry: Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart

General Nonfiction: Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, by James Forman Jr.

Music: DAMN., by Kendrick Lamar

Each winner receives the cash amount of $15,000.