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9 th Wonder brings Hip-Hop happenings to Wake Forest University

kENETH PRICE

Grammy-winning producer 9 th Wonder and filmmaker Kenneth Price will bring their featurelength documentary to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem on Friday, Sept. 12.

The new film follows 9 th Wonder as he teaches “The Standards of Hip-Hop” at Harvard University while conducting research for his thesis and delving into the importance of hip-hop music’s impact on contemporary culture and academia. The film also features an eclectic selection of interviews with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Young Guru, Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, DJ Premier and others.

As a producer, 9 th Wonder (born Patrick Douthit in Winston-Salem) has worked with a stellar line-up of talent including Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Destiny’s Child, Buckshot, Drake, Ludacris and many others. He has used his experiences as the basis for a second career as a “hip-hop professor,” having toured and lectured at various schools and universities around the country. He has also taught at North Carolina Central University and Duke University.

The day’s events will begin at 2 pm with Price presenting an hour-long discussion about the rigors (and rewards) of independent filmmaking in the Annenberg Forum of Carswell Hall. At 4 pm, 9 th Wonder will present a lecture on “The Standards of Hip-Hop,” also in the Annenberg Forum. Finally, beginning at 6 pm there will be a special screening of The Hip-Hop Wonder in the Brendle Recital Hall at the Scales Fine Arts Center, followed by a discussion/ question-and-answer session with Price and 9 th Wonder.

The new film marks the second documentary collaboration between 9 th Wonder and Price, following The Wonder Year (2011), in which the filmmaker followed 9 th Wonder for an entire year, including his studio sessions, classes he taught at Duke University, and performances with Murs at the 2010 Rock the Bells Festival, with 9 th Wonder also discussing his life and influences that have shaped his career. The Hip-Hop Wonder is something of a sequel to the earlier film, further exploring 9 th Wonder’s remarkable career. The new film enjoyed its world premiere when it was screened to great acclaim earlier this year at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, and is currently playing on the festival circuit.

In a review published in Paste Magazine, critic Shannon M. Houston wrote: “Ultimately, The Hip-Hop Fellow is an exciting look into the future. 9 th Wonder is appropriately named, as one of a few in his field who is both ‘of the culture’ and, now, of academia. His story and Price’s story of a burgeoning world of hip-hop theory play like the coolest college course you never took.”

Next Friday, Wake Forest students will be treated to a taste of that cool college course. !

WANNA go?

Wake Forest University is located at 1834 Wake Forest Road, Winston-Salem. All events are free but seating is limited to a first-come, first-served (or first-seated) basis. For a complete schedule of the day’s events, check out www.events.wfu.edu/ calendar/day/2014/9/12. The official Hip-Hop Wonder website is: www.thehiphopfellow.com.

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