Next Nobel committee should consider rappers like Kendrick Lamar

Singer and songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday. Judith Peraino, a musicologist at Cornell University, says the award finally recognizes the artistry of written lyrics, but the next Nobel committee should consider rappers like Kendrick Lamar for the literature honor.

Peraino says:
“This award finally recognizes the artistry of writing lyrics as on a par with written poetry, novels, histories, and oratory. Combining the story-telling structures of folk ballad traditions, beat-poetry stream of consciousness, and acute observations about the critical issues of war, discrimination, youth culture, and religion. Dylan’s influence can be heard in the songs of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, and Bruce Springsteen, and Patty Smith among many others.

“It has been said that Dylan once called Smokey Robinson ‘America’s greatest poet.’ Although this may be apocryphal, we would do well to remember that the ‘great American song tradition’ cited by the Nobel committee encompasses African Americans and other minority groups as well. I look forward to the day when our finest rappers such as Kendrick Lamar receive their Nobel Prize for Literature.”

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