• Brian Hampton

King Kendrick

"I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA." 

King Kendrick - Pulitzer Prize Winner - the first ever for a Hip Hop artist.  Kendrick is not just a hip hop artist, he's a creative that raps. The song “DNA" off of the critically and commercially acclaimed album DAMN is a perfect example of his creative genius.


The track is an easy rap hit.  The beat is blaring with heavy 808s and has instant car and club appeal.  He could've easily made that song about money, hoes and clothes and I'm sure it would've still been a Billboard hit. Lamar could've freestyled the verses and it would've still been #1 on the Hip Hop charts at the very least.  Instead he chose to use the song to uplift his people. The DNA that's far too often looked down upon through every other culture outside their own at times, and at times within their own culture.


In “Humble” he says “show me somethin' natural like ass with some stretchmarks." The single is the traditional hip hop club hit, popping shit on a record, something you can dance and mean mug to when you pull up to grandma at the light, but even with that he dropped a jewel. 


There's a real vs fake battle going on and the internet has caused some women to lose self-esteem by comparing themselves to women who are not displaying themselves naturally. Another time Kendrick stood up for something, this time it was women.


Kendrick won the Pulitzer award because he’s a creative. He thinks deeply and meticulously orchestrates every line, verse, hook, album and aspect of his career. DAMN is another cohesive album from Lamar this time telling a story from beginning to end and more accurately end to beginning.


Kendrick elucidates, “I like to put a lot of different things, wordplay, and messages in my music because I want it to live further than two weeks, further than the attention span of how we all was as kids. We take it, we listen to it, and we move on. But I want it to live for the next 20 years.” It will last longer than that.


The Compton bred rapper is the first “Hip-Hop artist" to win the award because he himself is the first of his kind. The irony is Lamar won it for this album and not his last album. The Pulitzer Prize has been known to favor Jazz music and To PImp A Butterfly had a heavy jazz influence.  Either way the award is deserved. Congrats to King Kendrick.