(Photo Credit: Daniel Coston)
9th Wonder is a super producer, CEO, DJ, and lecturer from Midway, North Carolina. He began his career as the main producer for the group Little Brother, and has also worked with Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Destiny’s Child, Mary J Blige, Jean Grae, Lil’ Wayne, Wale, Drake, Chris Brown, Rapsody, 2 Chainz, Jill Scott, Ludacris, Mac Miller, and David Banner to name a few.
9th Wonder entered the world of academia in 2007 at North Carolina Central University, where he was Artist in Residence, lecturing a class titled “Hip-Hop History.” His role as a music professor continued to expand when in 2010 it was announced that he would co-teach a class titled “Sampling Soul” with Dr. Mark Anthony Neal at Duke University.
He was accepted to Harvard University under the Nasir Jones Fellowship where he lectured, and researched at the Hip-Hop Archive in the W.E.B. Dubois Institute, under the direction of Dr. Marcy Morgan and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
9th was researched on projects in conjunction with the Loeb Library at Harvard University, chronicling the top 200 Hip-Hop Albums of all-time. 9th Wonder has also served as an Artist in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia, while also guest lecturing at the University of Michigan, Cornell University, Columbia College, Florida Southern, Winston-Salem State University, the College of Charleston, Fayetteville State University, the University of Denver, and several others.
In 2005, he was awarded a Grammy for his contributions to Mary J Blige’s 7th studio album, Breakthrough, in which he produced “Good Woman Down.” In 2008, 9th Wonder produced “Honey,” the first single by legendary soul singer Erykah Badu. In 2010, 9th Wonder started his independent label Jamla Records in Raleigh, NC, which fostered the career of rising star Rapsody, an emcee hailing from Snow Hill, NC, who after numerous mixtapes landed her first breakthrough on Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly,” also earning him a Grammy nomination for sound engineering on the album. In that same year, 9th Wonder was selected to join the Executive Committee for Hip-Hop and Rap at the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., where he has an exhibit on the Musical Crossroads floor. At the same time, 9th joined the Hip-Hop Council at the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts. In 2016, 9th Wonder signed a partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint, establishing Jamla Records as one of the premier independent labels to date. In 2017, 9th Wonder produced the song “Duckworth” on Damn, the 4th studio album of Compton MC Kendrick Lamar. In 2018 his artist Rapsody was nominated for 2 Grammys at the 2018 Grammy Awards.
9th Wonder continues to produce, teach, inspire, and push the culture of hip-hop forward in the community, industry, and the world of academia.