9th Wonder is expanding upon his professor role at his alma mater North Carolina Central University. The legendary producer has announced NCCU’s plans to launch Hip Hop Central—a cultural initiative that will include a library database, recording studio and annual conference focused on rap education and entrepreneurship.
The Little Brother alum and Jamla Records founder revealed NCCU’s planned hip hop hub in a recent interview with local news station WRAL.
“Hip Hop speaks on what happens in America,” 9th said. “It may speak on a side of America that you may not be privy to. But they need a voice as well.”
9th has become a major figure in hip hop academia in the past decade. In 2007, he—along with Play from Kid-n-Play—was appointed Artist-In-Residence at NCCU, where he began teaching a class on hip hop history. In 2010, he began teaching a course on music from the Civil Rights and Black Power movements with Mark Anthony Neal at Duke University. Five years ago, he was named a Harvard fellow, a role under which he inducted Nas’ Illmatic, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory as albums to be preserved as standards for the culture.
Coming off his recent production credits on Rapsody’s immaculate Laila’s Wisdom and Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., 9th Wonder continues to make his mark on the culture while documenting and preserving it.