When: Fri., Sept. 20, 9 p.m. 2013
During the last school year, Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder completed a research project called "These Are the Breaks" as a fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. His mission was to bridge hip-hop generations by examining the connection between a handful of classic rap albums and the source material they sampled. A forthcoming documentary explores the fellowship and explains exactly what the Winston-Salem native discovered.
In the documentary, you also might notice that 9th Wonder split his time between Harvard and Durham, where he helped teach a "Sampling Soul" class at Duke. Since the beginning of the calendar year, Duke has been celebrating a half-decade of racial integration. In 1963, five black undergraduate students penetrated the university's white-only enrollment. At this party in their honor, 9th Wonder selects the tunes, both new and old, with breakbeats for those who broke boundaries, alongside soul-influenced hip-hop, R&B and dance music for those of us who inherited a rich history of sound and liberation. —Eric Tullis