Kendrick Lamar deserves a Pulitzer

Noe Gonzalez, Staff Writer

Kendrick Lamar is one of today’s best rappers and writers. A 22-time Grammy nominee and 7-time Grammy winner in Rap Album, Performance, Song, and Collaboration.
Online entries must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2017. The work must be recorded and publically released between January 1st and December 31st of each year. A fee of $50 is required along with the submission. A physical recording of the work is also required to be sent to the Pulitzer Prize Office at Columbia University in New York, New York. It is then reviewed by the Pulitzer Prize Board, consisting of high scholar writers, journalist, and compositionists. The winners are announced in spring of each year.
There has never been a rapper who won a Pulitzer for music.
Lamar is not only a rapper; he’s an artist. He’s a rapper in his flow and production, and an artist in his hard-hitting lyrics and the meanings behind them. Combine these characteristic and not only do you have one of this generation’s best rappers and artists, but a deserving Pulitzer winner in Poetry and Composition.
Lamar is known to switch up his production in music. His first studio album Section.80, the production is a mix of instrumental with the feel of somberness.
Next comes his second album, good kid, m.A.A.d city. Lamar had this modern day sound and hard hitting bass, whilst still retaining the instrumental sound from Section.80.
Now, what can be considered one of the most ambitious rap albums, production wise, To Pimp A Butterfly. His fourth studio album, Lamar had a package of Jazz and Funk, defying modern day rap composition.
Last, but certainly not least, DAMN. Lamar’s fifth studio album, containing a mixture of classic 90’s rap production and shades of modern day composition, making it almost an instant classic.
Lamar’s lyrics preach a wide range of problems: from black people’s strife with Ronald Reagan’s administration in Section.80, to a song dedicated to Compton and it’s unfortunate problems and love towards it in good kid, m.A.Ad city. From talking about how black America will be ok through all the racism going on with police officers in America in To Pimp a Butterfly, to saying he’ll kill the man who harms his loved ones, no matter who he is in DAMN.
It’s not just the meanings behind these lyrics, it’s the stories and the statements he makes and tells.
In one of his more famous songs The Blacker the Berry, in his first verse, he calls himself a hypocrite as he’s screaming at what sounds to be America, about how America made his skin color a killer. America planned to keep him in poverty. He also talks about the physical stenotypes that America placed on them.
In his second verse, he continues to call himself a hypocrite, making points that America wants to see him behind bars, that they hate he has made something out of the cards he was dealt with. Throughout the song, it becomes clear he’s talking to white America, as Lamar references white America’s treatment of black people, their jealousy of successful minorities and how they stereotype them as well.
In his final verse, he continues to call himself a hypocrite, whilst still yelling at what becomes clear to be white America. As he references their love for guns, the threats he sees from them, He preaches his hypocrisy as he says he cried at the death of Trayvon Martin but killed another black man himself.
In a more recent song of his, XXX., he begins the song with men blessing those who America is good to, then trying to ask America a question, but interrupted by Kung-Fu Kenny. He then continues to talk about how he’ll kill a man for no reason, throw the gun on his body and turn himself in. He then continues to rap about a phone call he received from a friend of his.
His friend sounds drunk and is weeping because someone had killed his son due to illegal activity and didn’t pay for it, most likely drugs. He starts to ask Lamar for advice on what to do in his situation. Lamar gives his opinion on what he would if he ended up in his friend’s situation: he would try and murder the man who hurt his family. No matter where this murderer is, whether he was at church or at the corner store, he’d find him and kill him.
Lamar explains those are life moments and memories with loved ones, that “black power” is not a matter in the death of loved ones, referencing the Black Lives Matter movement and their peaceful protest codes they uphold. Lamar then decides to end his call as he has a Gun Convention to speak at about gun control, referencing his hypocrisy for The Blacker the Berry.
These are just a few examples of the stories and statements Lamar implements in his music. He has even implemented stories and poetry easter eggs that you have to listen to the entire album to really understand the message behind them. Kendrick Lamar really uses time and effort to change and master his art in rap which is why he is so deserving of a Pulitzer.