Last week Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize in Music.
Let's get this straight, right from the get go. I did not even know that there was a Pulitzer for music. I thought that the Pulitzer was a national and local journalism award. After doing a little research, I was more or less right. Looking back at past winners of the Music Pulitzer, I saw a ton of musicians I had never, EVER, heard of. I read the list and then moved on. Then I read the article below two days ago:
Ugh. Not Ira Madison again. So basically his article was how it's about time rap got it's due. Then he talked about great black artists not getting their due (again) and brought up James Brown. James Brown was prolific between 1958 and 1978, but for the interest of brevity, let's just focus on the 60's and see how many Pulitzers Brown has won:
You can click on the link above for the whole list, but this is a good cross section. Madison is right, poor James Brown was snubbed by the Pulitzers. You know who else was snubbed? ALL OF ROCK AND ROLL. See any Vietnam Protest Songs? The 60's were arguably the greatest era of Rock Music, every song meant something. Rock and Roll was going to change the world and bring down that bastard Nixon! You know what I see? Classical music. All classical music. If you expand the list all the way back to 1943, you'll see even more classical music and a few jazz musicians.
Maybe Madison is right and the Pulitzer only picks white artists. So I scrolled down the list and saw Wynton Marsalis in 1997. I'm pretty sure Wynton is black, but I better make sure. (Photo at Left.) Let's keep going, wait a minute, isn't that Thelonious Monk? Alright, let's go with the theory that maybe Madison is confused.
Then I googled Black Pulitzer Winners and got this LIST.
So what's the problem again? Apparently Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Lamar need to win every award ever created. How many Metal Musicians have won the Pulitzer? Zero. Punk Musicians? Zero. Country Musicians? One. Wait, what? (Hank Williams) That number should be zero. The only Rock Musician to get a Pulitzer is Bob Dylan. (Special Awards and Citations.) The egregiously overrated Bob Dylan should have his Pulitzer and his Nobel Prize taken away.
The Music Pulitzers are basically a hoity toity award given by the out of touch for City Orchestras.
I'm more upset that Jazz Greats Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, or Louis Prima never got a Pulitzer. Even jazz artists John Coltrane and Duke Ellington's greatness wasn't recognized until after their deaths.
Future Topics for Madison:
The International Classical Music Awards: Racist!
Billboard Latin Music Awards: Where are the Rappers?
GMA Dove Awards: Goddammit! No Real Virtuosos Acknowledged.
Russian World Music Awards: Racist Russians!
MTV Europe Music Awards: They finally got it right, Kendrick Lamar Won Best Video.
(Wait Eminem won best rapper?) New headline - MTV Europe Music Awards: DAMN RACISTS!
If Beacon of Speech still exists in December of 2018 (debatable), I think I'll submit a BOS article for Pulitzer Considerations.
Maybe The Week in Guns III would be my best Pulitzer bet.
But then again, it does cost $50 to enter the writing contest...
(To be continued....)