The Pulitzer prize is a prestigious annual award given to those who create amazing literature, music, journalism, and public services. It is awarded by the Columbia university in New York. It is given to only one of all candidates of each category. It was established by a man named Joseph Pulitzer prize who was journalist for most of his life.
Why was it given to the damn album?
This choice is quite significant due to the fact that the album is the first of its kind(rap genre) to receive a Pulitzer prize.
Those who have reviewed the album have said its “A virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
Others have also said:
“… “DAMN.” is surely deserving, yet its victory feels like another sign of the world, and therefore the musical culture, we live in — embodied by the streaming services, through which the biggest artists and albums get more and more, and everyone else gets a smaller piece of the pie. This system is corrosive to music, period — classical, jazz, hip-hop, everything. It’s the reality — and there are certainly a lot of very popular artists who are very meaningful, Mr. Lamar among them — but I don’t like every aspect of it.”
A man that goes by Pareles had also added:
“I completely agree with you about the unhealthy overall effects of winner-take-all culture. The word “trending” makes me instinctively recoil; as critics, you, and I both want to direct people beyond popularity charts. But choosing “DAMN.” wasn’t a capitulation to mere popularity. The album is a complex, varied, subtle, richly multi-layered work, overflowing with ideas and by no means immediately ingratiating. You have to give it genuine attention and thought to get the most out of it, just as with any other Pulitzer-winning composition.”
And others have said the album as a consequence have paved for new the new generation and era of music and art, that is in the mainstream:
There have been so many missed opportunities. The year after it turned down Ellington — the main Pulitzer board rejected the music jury’s recommendation — it could have given the regular prize to Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” How about Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” which could have won in 1972 — she’s Canadian and therefore ineligible, but remember, this is my fantasy world — over a decade before the prize finally got around to recognizing a female composer? Philip Glass, never quite beloved in the academic realm, remains Pulitzer-less. And I’ll just leave this right here: Kanye.
You could play these games forever. It is belated and necessary that the award widen to encompass a fuller picture of what music is. But if that widening further marginalizes non-commercial work — which doesn’t view itself as exclusive but simply as endangered in an economic system that conspires against it — something important will be lost. Responsible eclecticism is what I’d want going forward from Pulitzer juries, for whom the “DAMN.” award will hopefully be freeing in the best sense.
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