The DAMN album by Kendrick Lamar has become the first rap album to get a rapper the Pulitzer Prize. This seems like a cherry on top for Kendrick Lamar who has already won best rap album for the same album.
There has been so much talk about his growth as an artist, but no one would have expected that he would have been able to go in this direction after previous albums that did not sound anything like this one.
The only thing that people can really say to compare the albums in terms of similarities is the storytelling ability that Kendrick Lamar has brought to the table. He has always seemed to be an artist that was content with using his platform to tell stories. He paints pictures of his own life, but everything is complex for Kendrick.
He paints a vivid picture and he gets people to understand that he is doing things that are connecting old samples from songs to new music that he is unveiling. Every track from the DAMN album contains a sample of an older song. Kendrick has said that these were all songs that were played in his household as he was growing up.
Most rappers are influenced to sample old beats based on the music that they heard while they were growing up. Jay-Z has often talked about soulful music that inspired many of the older tracks that he sampled from artists like Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Bobby Blue Bland. Now Kendrick is bringing his fans up to speed on the type of music that was being played in this household when he was young. He has found himself in a great situation where the mainstream and the underground crowd has both embraced what Kendrick Lamar possesses in terms of skills.
When I heard that Kendrick Lamar received a Pulitzer Prize for his recent album Damn., I also heard people saying they’d never heard of that prize being awarded to someone in the hip hop or rap industry. I thought to myself, “I’ve never heard of anyone winning that prize in any industry since like 1932”. It turns out the artist is the first of his kind to win this prestigious award.
Kendrick is no stranger to awards. The rapper has already racked up 12 Grammys in his short career and even made the Time’s 100 Most Influential People list. The Pulitzer has officially marked his lyrics as “a source of cultural criticism and journalistic description” when it comes to the plight of Black America, especially in terms of young men. No one can deny that this writer’s creativity has moved nations, but the acknowledgement from one of the world’s most acclaimed organizations says something even more.
The rap game has come such a long way, and this award symbolically represents further groundbreaking achievements. Kendrick, as the first mainstream popular-style of music artist to be selected for a Pulitzer, has played a direct role in canonizing the rap genre. Awarding him is also a statement to the racial tensions of the U.S. which are on the forefront of current public discourse, but carry a history with the Pulitzer organization as well. The accolade went a stretch of three decades without recognizing any black artists, and this was in the era of some of the greatest musicaions known to man – James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and not to mention the jazz greats who finally received recognition in death like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.
Rap superstar Kendrick Lamar is enthusiastic about having produced the soundtrack to the upcoming movie Black Panther, which premiers in the US on February 16th. It is the first time Lamar has produced a movie soundtrack, or any album or project other than his own music.
The 30 year old musician is fresh off a 2018 Grammy win for Best Rap Album, along with a slew of nominations, and now turns his sights to the movie industry. Lamar curated or produced the entirety of the Black Panther soundtrack, while also contributing music of his own.
In addition to Lamar’s own work, the soundtrack features music by Vince Staples, SZA, Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, The Weeknd, Future, and a number of other popular current performers. Lamar himself features on six of the soundtrack album’s 14 tracks, and takes a producer credit on six of the 14 as well, although not the same six songs in each case.
Lamar took to Twitter to express his gratitude and appreciation for the people he worked with and the process of creating the soundtrack, saying that the idea of creating a project of other than his own work was something that had always been a dream of his.
The soundtrack is a highly anticipated part of the Black Panther movie, itself an anticipated event in the calendar of new releases. It marks the next installment in the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on the Marvel Comics. This will be the first movie featuring the superhero Black Panther.
Lamar has been prolific over the past several years, having put out four studio albums since 2011, the last three in particular having garnered near-universal acclaim and award show recognition. If the Black Panther soundtrack is well-received, perhaps it opens up another creative avenue for future projects for Lamar going forward.
Sunday’s Grammy Awards were a big win for Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar, who carried home a combined total of 12 awards. The Hawaiian R&B vocalist snagged almost all of the coveted top awards at the Grammys, with the exception of Best New Artist, which was awarded to Alessia Cara. Meanwhile, Lamar carried home five trophies, including all four awards in the rap category.
Bruno Mars was a surprise winner this year, beating out Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and Childish Gambino for the prestigious General awards. Mars’ “24K Magic” ultimately earned more votes from members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) than Lamar’s “Humble” and last year’s ubiquitous hit, “Despacito”. 24K Magic won both Album of the Year and best R&B Album. Additionally, the title track won Record of the Year. Mars also carried home the Song of the Year, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance for “That’s What I Like”, the album’s catchy ode to strawberry champagne and romance.
Jay-Z was projected to win big at the 60th Grammy Awards, but ended up falling short. Despite receiving eight nominations for his critically acclaimed 4:44 album, he failed to win in any categories. Kendrick Lamar’s Damn was widely expected to carry home Album of the Year, but was eclipsed by 24K Magic. He wasn’t the only artist to lose out. Khalid, No I.D. and SZA received five Grammy nominations apiece, but were also snubbed by Grammy voters. Childish Gambino was up for Album of the Year and Record of the Year, but only received one trophy for Best Traditional R&B Performance for his “Redbone”.
The Grammys battled low ratings this year and faced some criticism for giving top awards to pop music produced mainly by men. Despite critical acclaim, hip-hop albums by Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z were largely snubbed. Also, while the performances at the Grammys focused on the Time’s Up movement, Alessia Cara was the only woman to win a major award.
The 2018 Grammys featured a jaw-dropping opening with hip-hop superstar Kendrick Lamar performing a political montage of popular songs from his latest album ‘Damn.’ The young rapper recruited rockers Bono and The Edge from U2 for a powerful piece that led viewers dancing and singing along.
Comedian Dave Chapelle, who would later go on to win his own award for Best Comedy Album, appeared in interludes during Lamar’s performance. An American flag and dancing soldiers lit up the stage for the controversial rapper’s performance.
The crowd cheered with a performance featuring a woman playing drums to “King’s Dead” by Jay Rock who later orchestrated a dramatic dance routine with the rapper himself. Not shy of the theatrics, viewers and audience alike seemed thrilled at the energetic performance rivalling previous year’s acts.
Lamar received several awards this year ultimately losing to Bruno Mars for Album of the Year. Forever humble as his hit track proclaims, he accepted each trophy with thanks to his producers and family. Donning his signature trench coat, the rapper invited collaborators such as Rihanna to share in his success.
This unexpected show was followed by powerful medleys from artists such as Kesha and Pink with their own take on recent news in the music worlds. While the entirety of the performance was prefaced with a message as the show being a satire, critics criticized Lamar for his blunt honesty and outspoken message.
Through theatrics and a driven performance, Lamar started the 2018 Grammys out with a bang. The outcome of the event was set on fire by the opening act and Kendrick Lamar failed to disappoint as the opener. The multiple Grammy winning artist certainly has something new in store for next year.
The 2018 Grammy Awards, the 60th edition of the ceremony, aired Sunday night. The festivities were kicked off with a performance by Kendrick Lamar, rapping his songs “XXX” and “DNA.” He was joined on-stage by Dave Chappelle, who, near the end, had a message for the viewers that buoyed Lamar’s performance: “I just wanted to remind the audience that the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America.”
From that early note in the evening, Lamar dominated the rap conversation at the Grammys. He was nominated for each of the four rap categories this year. And despite worthy competition, Kendrick Lamar won all four rap categories.
Best Rap Performance went to Lamar for “HUMBLE.” Many thought Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” could make waves in this category, but it wasn’t meant to be. For Best Rap/Sung Performance, Lamar won for “LOYALTY.” featuring Rihanna. He topped the likes of Jay-Z and SZA. Best Rap Song was a loaded category. Lamar won for “HUMBLE.”, though in this category, the group of writers are the real winners. The writers for “HUMBLE.” are credited as Duckworth, Asheton Hogan, and M. Williams II.
The final rap category of the 60th Grammy awards was Best Rap Album. Lamar went up against Jay-Z, Migos, Rapsody, and Tyler, the Creator. Kendrick Lamar won for DAMN., completing the four-category sweep.
Of course, it wasn’t all success for Lamar this year. He did lose a number of non-rap categories. He was nominated for both Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Both of those top categories went to Bruno Mars for his 24K Magic. Even still, from beginning to end, talk was about Kendrick Lamar and his rap game.
After it was recently announced that Top Dog Entertainment would be in charge of the upcoming Black Panther movie soundtrack, the first single from the album, All the Stars, featuring SZA and Kendrick Lamar promptly dropped to critical acclaim on January Fourth. However, one notable name in Hip-Hop saw the release as just another swag jacking incident on the part of the Compton emcee. Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco, known most notably for his songs ‘Kick, Push’ and ‘The Show Must Go On,’ and considered by many, along with Kendrick, to be an all time great, took to Twitter to showcase his displeasure with the single’s cover being so close to his own Drogas Light variant cover, and a short list of other moments Lupe has suspicions may have been K. Dot biting his style.
Lupe blasted out a series of since deleted tweets on the fifth saying that the All the Stars cover art looked a little too close for comfort to his own Drogas Light cover art variation that the artist debuted in April of 2016. In addition, Fiasco goes on to name several other incidents that he believes are happenings of swagger jacking including Lamar’s shared all black album covers, albums meant to be played both forward and in reverse, and even going so far as to call out Lamar’s interest in Japanese culture and ninja as ripping off his own love of martial arts.
Though Kendrick has yet to respond to the allegations, TDE president Dave Free responded to Lupe through Tweet on January sixth by saying the artist should ‘Kick and push’ his way into a tree, humorously referencing the Lupe hit. Fiasco returned fire in his own signature style by saying that since trees are mostly in grass it would be hard to hit a tree, and suggests maybe a car or well placed gate. Though the tweets have since been deleted, you can follow what is sure to be the unfolding drama on Lupe Fiasco’s Twitter account at https://twitter.com/lupefiasco.
As two of the most potent and prevalent emcees of their time, and considered by many to be the two top modern day rappers, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar have had a close friendship, and professional rivalry, throughout both their careers, and have worked together on tracks multiple times. When Hip-Hop legend Jezzy announced the track listing for his upcoming Pressure E.P. fans were quick to note the reuniting of Cole and Kendrick on the aply named track, American Dream. Attendees at the December 12th listening party for Pressure heard the full album by the noted Atlanta rapper, including American Dream, the pen-ultimate take on the thirteen track album.
The two have worked together multiple times in the past including rapping over each other’s instrumentals on the the 2015 release Black Friday, which saw Cole taking a shot at ‘Alright’ and Kendrick rhyming over ‘A Tale of Two Citiez’. In 2012, Lamar and Cole collaborated on the DJ Khaled led They Ready, with famed southern rapper Big K.R.I.T. and a year later on the J. Cole album Born Sinner for the track Forbidden Fruit. Since 2011 both Cole and Kendrick have hinted at an entire collaborative album, and though collaborated that such a project exists by close insiders, the product has yet to hit the streets.
Jeezy’s latest features a slew of incredible seasoned emcees and a collection of up and coming rappers to make for what looks like another Hip-Hop classic for the Atlanta artist. From the short clip posted online and the word of attendees to the recent listening party, American Dream, featuring J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar is a bomtastic banger, featuring some of the best bars ever spit by all three legends. For further info on Pressure, releasing December fifteenth, check out Jeezy’s online residence at www.JeezyShop.com now!
Kendrick Lamar, the noted Emcee behind hits like ‘Humble,’ and ‘I,’ and considered by many Hip-Hop Heads to be one of the greatest of all time, stopped by the Howard Stern on the 12th of December to talk shop, personal life, and his seven Grammy nominations. No doubt blessed when it comes to lyrical wordplay, Kendrick described an encounter with another celestial force on the Stern show. Listeners were surprised to learn that Lamar reports being witness to a UFO over Compton when he was around six years old. No one believes him, Lamar says, but he doesn’t care, and remains adamant about the encounter.
This isn’t the first time Lamar has spoken of the UFO sighting, even going so far as to offer details on the sighting in another interview with Jo Jo Wright in 2014. Lamar told Jo Jo at the time that one day when he was around six years old he and his mother were on their balcony in Compton when he looked up and observed what he calls ‘a dart’ flash quickly across the sky. The rapper says his mother didn’t see the quick unidentified object burst across the sky, and jokes that she still doesn’t believe him to this day.
In the same interview, Lamar says he’s seen ghosts and spirits as well, but doesn’t elaborate. As far as his UFO sighting though, Kendrick says it changed him and made him believe there is something more out there. On Howard Stern, co-host Robin Quivers joked perhaps Lamar had been abducted to which the rapper playfully responded he probably did, and said aliens probably gave him the energy to make his music. You can read a write up on Lamar’s original interview with Jo Jo Wright here: https://massappeal.com/kendrick-lamar-has-seen-ghosts-and-ufos/and a High Snobriety report on the recent Howard Stern interview here: https://www.highsnobiety.com/p/kendrick-lamar-ufo-alien-sighting/
Talk about debating the single most magnificent rap verse. The thought itself seems to have cracked straight from a barbershop in the 90s. A debate that perhaps, would get accompanied by a question on who’s the best top five rap artist. However, the perceptions deter the faint-hearted. With the opportunity to interview an artist like Kendrick Lamar, you got to ask all the questions. Everything including those deemed to have been passed by time. Well, when posed with the question about his greatest rap verse, Kendrick Lamar gave the honor to a special someone. An icon in the industry, Snoop Dogg.
The verse, “Hey, one, two, three, and to the four” is a line that comes from the 1992 hit called ‘Nuthin But a G Thang.’ The hit was the first single in The Chronic album. Well, the choice of the line was expected considering that Kendrick Lamar hails from the West Coast region. On the other hand, The Rap icon Snoop Dogg passed down the torch to Kendrick Lamar (as the best rapper) in Los Angeles in 2011. As it is so, it went on to show the close relationship and Kendrick’s love for the icon’s music.
One would expect that Kendrick would have picked a verse from his music. However, in a previous event, Kendrick revealed to i-D that ‘FEAR’ is his greatest achievement. On the other hand, he declined to give a straight answer when asked if he has written the best rhyme yet. Kendrick attributed the lyrics of the song to honesty. He added that the first verse shows the fears he faced through childhood. The second verse tells of the fear during his teenage years while the third touches on his fears at 27. The honesty in the lyrics qualifies to make then his best lyrics so far.