Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand
Kendrick Lamar is not my favorite hip-hop artist. DAMN. – in my opinion – is not his best album. However, DAMN. winning a Pulitzer is a good, no a great, no a fantastic thing for art and culture and progress.
Awards don’t really matter in themselves. Kendrick reaches way more people commercially than he ever will with the Pulitzer at his name. James Patterson sells a hell of a lot more than Murakami. I’ve read a lot of articles talking about what a step forward to hip-hop this is, for black culture, but they’ve got it backwards: black culture and hip-hop have been excelling for decades; this is a step forward for the rest of us.
What makes me happy is that a group of stuffy curmudgeons felt either personally inspired or publicly pressured to speak Kendrick’s name into the same kind of prestige traditionally reserved for old white guys. This shifts the conception of what good art is and what a good artist looks like. The horse itself admits the prejudice in the cart and lets on a different kind of customer.
Next year, I want to see Lil Wayne on Pulitzer list. One step at a time though.
The Pardoner’s Tale, by John Wain
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“At 27 years old, my biggest fear was bein’ judged
How they look at me reflect on myself, my family, my city
What they say ’bout me reveal if my reputation would miss me
What they see from me would trickle down generations in time
What they hear from me would make ’em highlight my simplest lines.” – Kendrick Lamar, Fear