Twelve-time Grammy award-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his 2017 album "Damn," the organization announced Monday.
This makes Lamar the first rapper to win a Pulitzer and his album becomes the first non-classical or jazz work to win the award, reports the Associated Press.
In explaining the reasoning behind their selection, The Pulitzer Committee cited Lamar's "virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life."
According to CBS News, the 30-year-old rapper is also the most commercially successful musician to receive the award, which comes with a $15,000 payout.
Since bursting on to the music scene in 2011, Lamar has been applauded for his deep lyricism, live performances and his ability to mix African sounds with poetry, the spoken word, hip-hop, jazz and funk.
AllMusic, an online music guide, refers to Lamar as "one of the rare artists who has achieved critical and commercial success while earning the respect and support of those who inspired him."
"Damn" received critical acclaim upon its release and won a Grammy for best rap album, best rap performance, best rap/sung performance, best rap song and best music video.
Last year, Pitchfork called "Damn" a "masterpiece of rap," while Rolling Stone described it as "a dazzling display of showy rhyme skills, consciousness-raising political screeds, self-examination and bass-crazy-kicking."
Both musical publications also lauded his lyrical adeptness. "Storytelling has been Lamar's greatest skill," Matthew Trammell wrote for Pitchfork. "Somehow, he's gotten better."
— Video produced by Jonathan Fazio
Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook