9th Wonder Rocks UVA as Artist-in-Residence

9th Wonder Rocks UVA as Artist-in-Residence



Passion is something that you have in your life that understands you more than sometimes humans. That can be your best friend. And I think music was that for me. I am a DJ, college professor, music producer, and I'm a Harvard fellow. He's worked with Nas, Destiny's Child, Drake, Jay Z and beyond that he's a civil rights activist and he's the perfect artist for our residency. 9th Wonder really provided a model for how you can bring a musical tradition that doesn't have its origins in an institutional setting like this and how you can contextualize it and tell the history and tell the story of that genre. A lot of kids from this generation look at hip-hop as not something that needs to be learned, it needs to be partied to, like you need to understand really some of the people that you're listening to before what you're listening to becomes a big misconception of not only that particular person but maybe the demographic or the ethnicity of that particular person. Art has this really special ability to speak to people and it has an ability to give whole communities of people a significant place. One of the things that 9th wonder spoke endlessly about was building community, during the music feedback sessions he had one student show something and then he had another student, he's asking, "Do you two know each other?" And across the board it was no we've never met before. You need to be talking to each other and iron sharpens iron and we need to have a community. Some artists have had the knack to make music that speaks to me, for me, about me without even knowing me and I think that's the kind of relationship I have with music to know who I am, what I like, what my feelings are, and to have a piece of medium that hits that spot. Everywhere I go I try to learn from people because you know you you are forever a student. Now me listening to all the conversations and I say, "what year are you?" I'm asking classification and they're saying I'm first-year, third-year, which tells me they do have a different way of looking at their academics and looking at life. This has definitely been a master class of learning for myself.

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