Kendrick Wins And Beyoncé Shines: A Historic Week For Black Musicians
With Melissa Block
Kendrick Lamar scores a Pulitzer. Beyoncé stuns us with her performance at Coachella. We’ll talk about what a big week it’s been for black musicians.
David Hajdu, Music critic for The Nation and 2018 Pulitzer music juror. The jury unanimously selected Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music. (@davidhajdu_)
Rodney Carmichael, NPR Music hip-hop correspondent. (@free_c_mike)
Fredara Hadley, Visiting professor of ethnomusicology at Oberlin College. (@fredaraMareva)
From The Reading List:
Billboard: Beyonce’s Coachella Set Was a Landmark Celebration of HBCUs & Southern Black Culture — “Beyoncé may not have attended a HBCU herself or joined a Black sorority, but the feel and execution of her performance rang true with people familiar with HBCU and Black Greek fraternity/sorority traditions because she did more than scan YouTube for inspiration — she brought expert practitioners in-house to reimagine her catalog and stage show as if it were happening at Howard Homecoming instead of Coachella.”
NPR.org: How The Pulitzer Jury Opened Its Doors To Hip-Hop — “Lamar’s Pulitzer win may constitute the first time a high-minded institution has seen fit to place an insurgent and equally popular rap artist, in the prime of his career, within America’s canon of heralded music composers. It comes at a time increasingly defined by unapologetic blackness, from the cinematic phenomenon of Black Panther (which Lamar coincidentally soundtracked) to last weekend’s epic festival black-out now known as Beychella.”
It’s been a banner week for black musicians. Hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music – for his album DAMN. – which we’re hearing some of now. It’s a milestone: the first Pulitzer ever awarded for music that’s not classical or jazz. And Beyoncé becomes the first black woman ever to headline the Coachella music festival – where she wows with an epic set.
This hour, On Point: Kendrick Lamar. Beyoncé. And more.
— Melissa Block
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