“DAMN.” Sam Hadelman on Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer

“Kendrick Lamar delivers the album we don’t deserve on DAMN.”


Image credit: TheVerge.com

Sam Hadelman, Writer - The Reporter; Radio Host - WHAT Radio

When I read the words, “Pulitzer Award” and “rapper” in the same sentence my heart dropped.

The moment has arrived; hip-hop has been recognized on a world-wide platform and in the most legitimate fashion. For years, rap has been neglected in the media and award recognition alike, a prime example would be Macklemore’s scathing win over Kendrick Lamar’s masterpiece Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. The biggest stage for literary achievements decided to award Lamar and the world has taken notice.

DAMN. is the crowning achievement of Lamar. Though met with critical acclaim universally, DAMN. was the moment that Lamar conquered the mainstream stage. On his previous releases he distinguished himself as a premier act in today’s landscape, but did not establish the mainstream choke hold his rivals possess. DAMN. was Lamar’s way of displaying his duality in musical prowess and widespread acceptance. He wants the platform of Drake with the persona of Tupac.

Though DAMN. winning is a milestone that should not be understated, I hope this opens doors for other African-American artists to receive credit for their work. I want to see artists other than established acts like Lamar get the recognition they deserve.It is my hope that this moment in history creates ripples that span lifetimes.