This afternoon, the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes were announced, and there were many expected winners including The Washington Post for its coverage of Roy Moore and a joint prize for The New Yorker and The New York Times' coverage of Harvey Weinstein. The biggest surprise, however, came when Kendrick Lamar's Grammy-winning album DAMN took the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
It's a nearly unprecedented occasion; almost every award winner that has preceded Lamar has recorded a jazz or classical composition. That the first mainstream musician to take the prize is also a rapper is incredibly telling of the influence Lamar's words have on listeners.
Although he didn't win the Grammy for Album of the Year in January (DAMN lost to Bruno Mars's 24K Magic, but it did win the Grammy for Best Rap Album), this latest award—one of the most prestigious in the United States—shows that the Pulitzer committee does have its finger on the pulse in a way the Recording Academy does not.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.