Patrick Douthit, a producer who has won Grammy awards for his work with Beyonce and other big-name artists, has joined the DU faculty

Patrick Douthit – better known as “9th Wonder” – has worked with hip-hop mega stars Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, and many more: his career as a producer has been nothing but successful, as his collection of Grammy awards illustrate.

However, in the spring of 2017, Wonder was not producing another hip-hop hit or keeping one of his famous client’s company: he was serving as a co-teacher in DU’s Hip Hop History class.

At the time, hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar had just released his latest album, and it was expected to debut. Students in the class began discussing their opinions on the forthcoming album.

Wonder then stepped in to tell his students an insider detail about the highly anticipated album, titled “Damn”. Wonder revealed that he had contributed towards working on “Duckworth”, the album’s last song, to the delight and awe of his students.

Wonder’s career as an on-campus figure began over 10 years ago at N.C. Central, where he taught courses in hip-hop that was a mixture of history and tips for students to become a part of the industry.

Wonder aims to share his knowledge of the industry and perspective on hip-hop with students

Wonder went on to teach classes as well as conduct research at Harvard University, Pennsylvania University, and Duke, despite the fact that Wonder never acquired a degree himself.

Wonder is one of two celebrity Grammy-winners on Duke’s campus: Duke Performances’ associate director Eric Oberstein has collected four Grammy awards. However, Wonder still makes a strong impression.

Wonder states that he hopes his classes will show students how the hip-hop industry operates, and to learn more about the artists they so admired. Wonder admits that learning the truths of hip-hop can be either very discouraging or very empowering, but he looks forward to teaching a big class regardless.


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