16 Lyrics From ‘DAMN’ That Prove Kendrick Lamar Deserves His Pulitzer

Kendrick Lamar won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in music for his album DAMN., making him the first non-jazz or classical musical artist to win the award.

Since the albums release in April 2017, it has found major commercial success and many critics approval. The album certified multi-platinum album, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, and the album has sold more than 1 million copies in traditional album sales. DAMN. also won the Grammy for Best Rap Album.


So, what makes DAMN. good enough to win such a prestigious award? The Pulitzer Prize Board explained it best, calling it, “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”

Lamar’s sharp, playful, thought-provoking, complex, socially relevant lyrics make his music a platform to call out the bullshit in society. It’s not just “noise” or “a bunch of swear words” like your mom likes assume it is. Here are 16 one-liners from DAMN. that prove Lamar deserves this Pulitzer Prize.


“Ain’t no black power when your baby killed by a coward”


“I put my lyric and my lifeline on the line”


“I don’t do it for the ‘Gram, I do it for Compton.”


“I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA.”


“I’m talkin’ fear, fear that my humbleness is gone.”

“At 27 years old, my biggest fear was bein’ judged.”

“Why God, why God do I gotta suffer?”

“Pain in my heart carry burdens full of struggle.”


“That word is only a color, it ain’t facts no mo’.”


“Internet blogs and pulpit, fill ’em with gossip.”

“The feelin’ of an apocalypse happenin’.”


“A perfect world is never perfect, only filled with lies.”

“Promises are broken, and  more resentment comes alive.”


“I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop.”


“We all woke up, tryna tune to the daily news; Looking for confirmation, hoping the election wasn’t true.”


“A true comedian, you gotta love him, you gotta trust him. ”

Lamar’s carefully crafted lyrics have deep meaning towards socially relevant events. It’s not noise, it’s a movement. Lamar is truly a musical and lyrical genius who is very much deserving of the Pulitzer Prize.

What is your favorite lyric from DAMN.? Comment below!

Featured image via “Kendrick Lamar – Hovefestivalen 2012” by NRK P3 / CC BY-NC-SA


  1. Why would you publish this. Either 1) you are intentionally trying to paint Kendrick in a poor light by pulling excerpts of his beautiful piece as meaningless. In which case, let me rebuttal with a line that states as follows:

    “See, in a perfect world, I’ll choose faith over riches
    I’ll choose work over bitches, I’ll make schools out of prison
    I’ll take all the religions and put ’em all in one service
    Just to tell ’em we ain’t shit, but He’s been perfect, world”

    Or 2) you’re just stupid and didn’t listen to the album… Kenzie

  2. How far we haven’t come.
    Blame Whites for your situation,
    Disregard Motown and call your
    women “bitches”!
    If you want to advance get a real
    Don’t use ghetto speak and hope to be
    hired by a corporation,
    The “n-word” is not proper for any of us,
    Giving this crap a Pultizer Prize is a joke,
    How far we haven’t come!

  3. Ridiculous. Those excerpts are rubbish, and especially if we’re talking on the level of some previous prizewinners. Its so embarrassing that some people have some delusional mental deficiency they call ‘white guilt’, enough to prompt them to award a ‘black’ rapper to virtue-signal that theyre down with it. Its fucking embarrassing. This has nothing to do with talent or lyrical insight, and everything to do with trying to make the Pulitzer Prize seem more ‘of the people, and alligned with ‘Black Lives Matter’. Think of all the unknown talented instrumentalists and composers who get no credit, and have to aee the prize iven away to a pop star. In fact, thats exactly what you should expect from this century.

    And being real, from the projects and about social struggle has already been done. Much better. Hes called Tupac Shakur – now he really was worthy of a Pulitzer in at least one category. If Pulitzer were in the slightest bit aware of the lower classes and about street culture, they would have given it to Tupac, not this fake pop rapper. But theyre not, and yet again, its race politics. Jesus Christ this is shameful.


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