Kendrick Lamar Makes History as the First Rapper to Win a Pulitzer

Kendrick Lamar has already won himself a lot of acclaim for his 2017 album Damn, including the Grammy for Best Rap Album. Now he's landed himself an even bigger and more prestigious honor, however, as he's just been awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Described by host Dana Canedy as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life,” Damn marks the first time a rap album has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music. 

In fact, as Associated Press points out, this is the first time a non-classic or jazz artist has won the award.

The previous Pulitzer Prize for Music was awarded to experimental composer Du Yun for her opera Angel's Bone. The Public Service Pulitzer Prize for journalism, meanwhile, went to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The New York Times and Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker for their reporting of Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood's sexual abuse.

Watch the 2018 Pulitzer Prize announcement video below, with Kendrick's big moment at the 17:40 mark.

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Q-Tip Will Teach a Music Course at NYU

Q-Tip, rap legend from A Tribe Called Quest, will become a teacher. Q-Tip will be joining NYU‘s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music to teach a course that will “explore historical, social, and musical connections between jazz and hip-hop,” according to NYU's website. The lucky students who will take this class can expect “in-class and out-of-class assignments under Q-Tip’s mentorship.” Grammy-winning journalist and producer Ashley Kahn will join Q-Tip as a professor for the course, which will begin Sept. 5.

The course will span seven classes, where students will be studying techniques of music and the “fused musical genres” of the Last Poets, Stetsasonic, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, The Roots, Lauryn Hill, and Kendrick Lamar. The class will cover artists of the '70s, '80's, '90's, “and beyond.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to share with the students what I know and I look forward to them also teaching me. Teaching is an exchange of sharing and receiving for all involved,” said Q-Tip in a statement on NYU's website.

Q-Tip has been keeping busy lately: He recently did a reading of Nelson George's play My Funny Valentine at Joe's Pub in New York City, where he starred and played Miles Davis. A Tribe Called Quest just released their “final” video for the We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service opening cut “The Space Program.” The video, directed by Warren Fu, features cameos from Erykah Badu, Vince Staples, Pharrell, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rosario Dawson, Janelle Monáe, Alicia Keys, Anderson .Paak, and more.

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Rich the Kid Drops Full Version of Lil Uzi Vert Diss “Dead Friends”

Rich the Kid kicked his Lil Uzi Vert diss track out into the real world Monday.

 

9:00 am “Dead Friends” on #Beats1🥀🥀🥀

A post shared by Rich The Kid (@richthekid) on Mar 26, 2018 at 8:14am PDT

“Dead Friends” premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 Show, the latest entry of which also featured an interview with Rich about the story behind this World Is Yours cut. When Lowe asked him to clarify what he's saying on this track, Rich at first said he was “just letting people know how money changes people.”

Lowe then pointed out the obvious Uzi references, noting that—and this is quite worth noting—Uzi and Rich are “fundamentally different” artists. “It's funny because I made this record months before all that, and so whatever darkness comes to light,” Rich said. “So you listen to the song, you know what's going on. Billboard don't lie.”

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Asked if his issues with Uzi were mere “entertainment,” Rich said he's just waiting on an Uzi response. “You know you can't write better than me though,” he added, calling Uzi a “singer.”

A video for “Dead Friends,” directed by Louie Knows, is expected shortly. Apparently, Rich's team hired an Uzi lookalike for the shoot.

Anyway, The World Is Yours is out Friday. Rich's 14-track debut album features appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, Khalid, Quavo, Offset, Chris Brown, Jay Critch, Swae Lee, Offset, and Trippie Redd.

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Rich the Kid Talks Frank Ocean Collab and Doing Numbers on the Charts

Complex News' Jinx sat down with Rich the Kid at SXSW and chopped it up about hard work, hustle, and his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar. The two also spoke about Rich Forever Music and how Rich the Kid wants it to be bigger than Cash Money.

Later in the interview, Rich touched on his collaboration with the elusive Frank Ocean. Check it out above.

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The Rock May Have Motivated Kyle Kuzma and the Lakers to Knock Off the Nuggets

The Lakers have one of the youngest teams in the entire NBA. The average age of the players on the team is just a shade under 25, and while that should offer some hope for the future to all of the Lakers fans out there, it also indicates that the majority of the Lakers players still have a lot to learn—both on and off the basketball court.

To try and help them along in life, the Lakers have set up a series of “Genius Talks” this season that have featured high-profile people coming in and talking to the team. Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and rapper Kendrick Lamar are just a few of the celebrities who have delivered motivational speeches to the team in recent months.

On Tuesday, it was Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson’s turn to do it. He met with Lakers players, coaches, and executives and shared his story with the team in an effort to motivate them. According to the Orange County Register, The Rock spoke about overcoming adversity and disappointment during his speech to the team.

Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and controlling owner/president Jeanie Buss were ecstatic to have The Rock in the building.

It looks like whatever The Rock said really lit a fire up under the Lakers, too. On Tuesday night, they took on the Nuggets, a team that had beaten them in their last two matchups, at the Staples Center. And despite blowing a double-digit lead in the first half and falling behind by 5 points heading into the fourth quarter, the Lakers rallied to knock off the Nuggets 112-103 to pull themselves back to within just five games of .500 on the season.

It’s impossible to say whether or not The Rock actually had anything to do with the performance the Lakers put forth against Denver. But after the game, Lakers head coach Luke Walton suggested The Rock’s words seemed to put a little extra fire into rookie Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma scored a team-high 26 points against the Nuggets, including 16 in the third quarter alone, despite playing with an ankle injury—and Walton told reporters The Rock’s speech may have had something to do with it.

“Maybe it was The Rock that motivated him to fight through the injury like that,” Walton said.

Kuzma didn’t say if that was actually the case. But he spoke with reporters as well and talked about how cool it was to have The Rock speak to the Lakers on Tuesday. Kuzma said that, like most people his age, he was a “big fan” of The Rock growing up, and he said he was amazed to learn The Rock is now a big fan of his as well. It seems The Rock saw the interview Kuzma did after scoring a career-high 38 points against the Rockets back in December, and he apparently told Kuzma he was impressed with it.

“He just loved my response to what I said,” Kuzma said. “He thought it was pretty cool, so that was pretty cool actually.”

The Rock may have had something to do with the Lakers playing so well against the Nuggets, but he might not deserve all of the credit. Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix met with the team this week as well. She spent time with the Lakers on Monday, and it sounds like she may have gotten the competitive juices flowing just like The Rock did. According to the Orange County Register, Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope challenged her to a race, which amused most of his teammates to no end.

“She was wearing jeans and untied Jordans and could probably still beat him in a race,” Kuzma said.

There’s no telling who the Lakers are going to bring in next as part of their “Genius Talks” series. But it’s clearly something that’s having an impact on the young team this season, and we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see other young NBA teams start adopting the same strategy in the coming seasons.

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Cardi B Waiting on Nicki?, Lil Xan Banned From Rap? Safaree Glows Up | Everyday Struggle

On today’s #EverydayStruggle, Wayno, Star, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska broke down whether or not Cardi B is waiting on Nicki Minaj to drop her album, Lil Xan getting banned from hip-hop by Waka Flocka and T.I., Safaree’s new glow up in 2018, and more. 

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Yujia Hu Turns Migos, Kendrick Lamar, and Air Jordan 1s Into Delicious Sushi Art

Yujia Hu's first love was basketball—he describes the sport as “beautiful”—but when his family opened a sushi restaurant in Milan, Italy, he turned his focus to becoming a sushi chef.

Searching for ways to combine his passion and his familial duties, he created sushi in the likeness of Italian basketball players, and when his posts on social media received worldwide attention, he expanded to NBA players, rappers like Kendrick Lamar and Migos, and even sneakers, like the Air Jordan 1.

“Basketball, sushi, hip-hop… it's different things that are a part of me,” Hu explains. Check out his story and awesome sushi art in the video above.

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Lonzo Ball Says These Are His Top 5 Rappers at the Moment

Last year, someone dug up a 2016 tweet from Lonzo Ball where he ranked his top five all-time rappers. The list included Lil Wayne, Future, DMX, 50 Cent, and Tupac. As you would expect, it received its fair share of controversy.

Nearly two years since that tweet was posted, Ball was asked to give his current list of top five rappers. Since Lonzo recently dropped his album Born 2 Ball, we expected him to go full Dylan and name himself in all five spots. However, Ball provided an actual list, and it goes as follows: Future, Drake, Quavo, Offset, and 21 Savage.

Since the question started off by pointing out that Ball was currently in Atlanta, the “capital of hip-hop,” it’s hard to determine if that lead-in was the reason behind the Atlanta-centric list. Considering Ball named Future on his all-time rappers list, it's no surprise that he would include him alongside Drake, Quavo, Offset, and 21 Savage. 

Drake has been arguably one of the most consistent rappers over the last couple of years, so it makes sense to have him on the list. Quavo's name was attached to two of the most highly anticipated projects of the last few months in Culture II and Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho. Offset (who was obviously also on Culture II) and 21 Savage dropped their surprise project Without Warning not too long back.

Each list is subjective, so we can't knock Lonzo too much for what he considers to be his favorite rappers at the moment. But all we want to know is where's the love for Kendrick Lamar? K. Dot released the Grammy-nominated Damn last year and served as co-executive producer on Black Panther: The Album. Where is the disconnect? That's all we want to know. 

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Q-Tip Previewed an Unreleased Kendrick Lamar Collaboration on his ‘Abstract Radio’ Show

Q-Tip’s Abstract Radio show on Apple’s Beats 1 has previously included gems such as a two-hour tribute to his friend and collaborator Prodigy of Mobb Deep, and Friday’s show offered another special moment with a previously unreleased Kendrick Lamar collaboration. Q-Tip played the track, unofficially titled “Want U 2 Want,” at approximately the 1:42-mark of his mix Friday.

Keys, synths, and a guitar loop power the collaboration as both Kendrick and Q-Tip profess their love for their boos. 

“The love for your name can only pertain to the flame I got in my veins/I never complain when your name is mentioned/I can’t hold back or restrain/It’s the fact I just want you to want me,” Kendrick raps on the song’s chorus.

This isn’t the first collaboration between Kendrick Lamar and Q-Tip, as Kendrick appeared on “Conrad Tokyo” from A Tribe Called Quest’s final album We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.

The origins of “Want U 2 Want” are unclear, as Kendrick and Q-Tip were spotted hitting the studio as far back as 2012. Prior to A Tribe Called Quest’s 2016 swan song, Q-Tip had reportedly been working on a solo project entitled The Last Zulu.

Q-Tip also dropped a collaboration with Demi Lovato entitled “Don't Go Breaking My Heart”—an Elton John and Kiki Dee cover—at the 1:59 mark of his mix. You can hear Q-Tip’s entire mix via Apple Music.

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