A public conversation with producer 9th Wonder who has been nominated for his work on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Duckworth’
Next Thursday evening, Jan. 18, the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke will host an event celebrating the success of Patrick Douthit, aka 9th Wonder, who is up for two Grammy Awards this year.
The 7 p.m. event, “How To Get Nominated for A Grammy,” is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Friedl Art Gallery in the Ernestine Friedl Building on Duke’s East Campus. Light refreshments will be served.
Douthit, a lecturing fellow in Duke’s African and African-American Studies Department, will discuss the work behind his two recent Grammy nominations. He was previously awarded a Grammy for his work on a Mary J. Blige album in 2015. This year, the Grammy Award committee recognized the prolific producer for his work on Kendrick Lamar’s most recent release, which is up for Album of the Year, and for his contributions to Rapsody’s “Laila’s Wisdom,” which is up for Best Rap Album.
Douthit has worked with many musical celebrities including Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, Beyonce and Destiny’s Child, among others. Last month, as the Grammy nominations were being announced, Douthit dropped a surprise album of beats, Zion II. He has taught at North Carolina Central University, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania as well as Duke. In addition, he is a major contributor to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The event will also feature “SexyNotSilent,” a visual arts exhibit by self-taught local artist Natasha Powell Walker. An artist talk for the exhibit will be held in the same location the following week, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25.
Her work tends to focus on the female figure and the struggles women face in society. Through her use of vibrant color, Walker is able to tackle complex issues and provide a sense of empowerment and enlightenment.
Walker will interview Douthit about the opportunities and challenges in Durham’s rising local arts scene, and what it takes to win a Grammy.
The Grammy Awards will air live on CBS on Jan. 28.
The event is sponsored by the Duke Council on Race and Ethnicity and the Center for Arts, Digital Culture and Entrepreneurship.