9th Wonder’s relationship with N.C. State University began in the late nineties, when he was a full-time Wolfpack student named Patrick Douthit and an upcoming beatmaker. That era soon led to him and more than a dozen other like-minded Triangle artists starting the Justus League hip-hop collective. It would soon become the springboard for 9th’s industry success as a member of the trio Little Brother; the label head of Jamla Records; and the Grammy-winning producer for artists such as Jay Z, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, and many more.
His brief time at N.C. State may have also informed the last several years of 9th Wonder’s mission to deliver hip-hop’s tenets and traditions to some of the country’s most prestigious universities. He’s served as an adjunct professor at both N.C. Central University and Duke, completed a Harvard fellowship, and recently taught “A Master Class on Beat Making and Sampling in Hip-Hop” as an artist-in-residence at the University of Pennsylvania.
And now, his academic hip-hop cause is bringing him back to State: On June 29, 9th will launch his five-part lecture series in the James B. Hunt Jr. Library Auditorium. The multimedia lecture series, entitled “Hip-Hop In Context With 9th Wonder,” will take place every Wednesday evening from June 29 through July 27. It will cover all facets of hip-hop culture from 1973 to 1997 as well as “evaluate the visuals, sounds, fashions, and commercial influences of hip-hop during its first twenty-five years.”
The series is open to the general public, but, unless you’re one of the first fifty State students lucky enough to have the registration fee waived, the series will cost you a hefty $125. Hey, at least it’s a lot cheaper than the tuition rates you’d have to pay at any one of those aforementioned universities just to take a class with 9th.
For registration information, visit the NCSU’s Libraries’ website.