In April, Lamar became the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize in the music category. Host Dana Canedy announced the award, calling Kendrick’s 2017 album Damn “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
The award also marks the first time in the Pulitzer Prize's 75-year history that a non-classical, non-jazz album has won in the category. "In this case, I don't know specifically what the piece was, but in this case they were considering a piece of music they felt had hip-hop influences and said, 'Well if we're considering a piece of music that has hip-hop influences, why aren't we considering hip-hop?' And someone said, 'That's exactly what we should do,'" Canedy previously told Billboard. "And then someone said, 'We should be considering Kendrick Lamar' and the group said 'absolutely.' So then, right then, they decided to listen to the entire album and decided 'This is it.'"
At the time of the announcement, K-Dot didn’t even know he was being considered for a Pulitzer, making it a "complete surprise." Afterward, Damn’s album sales skyrocketed with a 236 percent increase.
During the ceremony Kendrick also made time to snap a few selfies with Don Lemon and fellow Pulitzer winner Ronan Farrow.