Compton rhymer Kendrick Lamar has received praise from near and far since winning the Pulitzer Prize in Music this week, becoming the first non-jazz/non-classical act to ever receive the award. But some seemingly unlikely people have been rather enthusiastic in their congrats to the rapper.

Composers Michael Gilbertson and Ted Hearne, two of the finalists in the same Pulitzer Prize category as K.Dot, heavily praised the rapper while speaking with Slate.

Hearne, who lists the DAMN. track “FEEL.” as his favorite Kendrick song, spoke on the importance of Kendrick and Hip Hop being recognized on this level.

“I don’t put too much stock in prizes, but this is a really important year because Kendrick Lamar’s music is super important to me and to a lot of people,” Hearne said. “Hip Hop as a genre has been important to me as a composer, but Kendrick’s work in particular. He is such a bold and experimental and authentic artist. He’s one of the people that is creating truly new music.”

As a classical artist, Gilbertson spoke on the shift artists like Lamar are creating in music.

“I never thought my string quartet and an album by Kendrick Lamar would be in the same category,” Gilbertson said. “This is no longer a narrow honor. It used to be classical composers competing against each other in relatively small numbers, but now we’re all competing against these major voices in music.”

The two musicians concluded their commentary on Lamar by stating that working with the rapper would be “a great honor.”

Read the full interviews here.