This is the song collection we think won Kendrick Lamar the Pulitzer Prize

PHOTO: Gallo images/ Getty images
PHOTO: Gallo images/ Getty images

Cape Town - Kendrick Lamar has made history as the first rapper to win the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for music. He is also the first musician to win it that is not a classical or jazz musician. The New York Times says that for a rapper, the award is “one that may never have even seemed within reach.”

Kendrick has wowed the world with DAMN. and despite losing to Bruno Mars for Album of the Year at the Grammys, he has reshaped what could now be the most prestigious for commercial artists – the Pulitzer Prize.

The album featured Rihanna and U2, topped the charts and was amongst 2017’s most esteemed albums. At the same time, Kendrick’s music tackled thorny issues which were both political and personal. The rapper also delved into personal issues of commercial success as well as race and faith.

But what were the tracks that could have swayed the judges’ decision towards Kendrick’s victory? We check out what makes DAMN. so unique and why Kendrick’s artistry has been so well received.

According to, when announcing the prize, the board noted Kendrick’s album 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.”

David Hajdu, one of the jurors also noted that rap music “has value on its own terms and not just as a resource for use in a field that is more broadly recognised by the institutional establishment as serious or legitimate.”

He also stated that Kendrick’s album features a “lively and constructive conversation, but no dissent.” And with that in mind, we have put together our own list, based on billboard ratings, on what songs could have made Kendrick the winner.


2. DNA.

3. LOVE.