There’s been a bit of a stir over this year’s Pulitzer Prize for music. It’s almost always awarded to a classical composition – winners have included Samuel Barber, John Adams, Steve Reich and Elliott Carter, with the occasional concession to jazz artists like Ornette Coleman.
But this year the panel gave it to Kendrick Lamar for DAMN. He’s not only the first hip-hop winner, he’s the first winner in anything that might be defined as ‘pop’. Not before time some say: a sign of the decline of western civilisation say others (particularly following Bob Dylan being given the Nobel Prize). Personally I’m just amazed that he’s the first. And looking at the winners I see a lot of music which is and probabaly always will be largely unknown and a sense that most contemporary classical music is pretty much irrelevant.
Here’s a New York Times article discussing what this all means (link is below the video).