Event Archives

Hip-Hop in the Gardens featuring Phonte, Rapsody & 9th Wonder


As part of Duke’s First-Year Orientation, Duke Performances and Duke Gardens are pleased to present an NC hip-hop triple bill for Duke first-year students: Phonte, Rapsody, and 9th Wonder. Duke Professor of Black Popular Culture, Mark Anthony Neal, will host the evening.

Greensboro-based MC Phonte debuted in the late 90s with the alternative rap trio Little Brother, a collaboration with Rapper Big Pooh and producer 9th Wonder. The trio’s heady, charged lyrics were compared to “the down to earth realism of Jeru the Damaja and Nas” (Pitchfork). Simultaneously, Phonte established the GRAMMY-nominated R&B duo The Foreign Exchange with Dutch producer Nicolay; in 2011 he launched his solo rap career with the self-reflective album Charity Starts at Home.

Rapsody, a founding member of the NC hip-hop crew Kooley High, signed to 9th Wonder’s JAMLA Records in 2008. In 2015 she was featured on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, a cameo noted as “twenty-seven bars of genius” (Getintothis UK). Her debut album Beauty and the Beast features the passionate honesty, “cut-throat bars,” and “leaning, gritty flow” (DJ Booth) that characterize her work.

Phonte and Rapsody will be backed on the 1s & 2s by legendary producer and Durham native 9th Wonder. 9th’s work on Little Brother’s The Listening in 2003 attracted Jay Z, who invited him to produce “Threat” on The Black Album. Since that time he has worked with artists such as Mary J. Blige (with whom he won a GRAMMY), Drake, and Erykah Badu. 9th Wonder explains his motivation: “Hip-Hop is the voice of at least two generations. At one time it was the positive voice — Chuck D was the black history teacher I never had — it can be that again.”
**Duke student ID required for entry. The first 700 students in attendance will receive free Hip-Hop in the Gardens t-shirts.**
Presented by Duke Performances and Sarah P. Duke Gardens, with additional support from New Student Programs.

  • Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 9:00pm
Sarah P. Duke Gardens