Producer/music executive 9th Wonder and legendary rapper Big Daddy Kane are highlights of this year’s class of inductees into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
9th Wonder, whose real name is Patrick Douthit, is a Winston-Salem native. The Grammy Award-winning producer rose to fame with the rap group Little Brother. Since then, 9th Wonder has gone on to work on projects with Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Drake, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Anderson .Paak. He’s also the CEO of the record label Jamla Records, where his artist roster includes Grammy-nominated North Carolina rapper, Rapsody.
Over the past several years, 9th Wonder has become one of hip-hop’s leaders in academia, as a lecturer at North Carolina Central University (where he was once a student) and Duke University. He also taught a course at Harvard University.
Big Daddy Kane was one of the defining names in hip-hop during the 1980s and early ’90s. Born Antonio Hardy, the Brooklyn, New York rapper’s smooth lyrical delivery earned him a Grammy and recognition as one of the greatest MCs of all time with hits like “Ain’t No Half-Steppin’,” “Raw” and “Smooth Operator.”
While he was on top of the rap world, he mentored another young artist from Brooklyn named Jay-Z. Kane took Jay-Z on tour to perform brief sets between his outfit changes and recorded some tracks with him including “Show & Prove.”
Why is the NYC rapper getting inducted in the NCMHOF? Kane has been a Raleigh-Durham resident since 2000.
The official induction of the 2019 class will take place on October 17 at a red carpet ceremony in Kannapolis. The ceremony will include a VIP reception and live performances by NCMHOF inductees. Tickets will go on sale to the public in late spring.
For the first time, NCMHOF will recognize past inductees during the ceremony. Pastor Shirley Caesar will be an inaugural “highlight inductee.”
2019 North Carolina Music Hall of Fame Class
- Elizabeth Cotten, blues and folk musician
- Patrick Douthit (9th Wonder), producer, record executive, lecturer
- Mitch Easter, producer, musician, songwriter
- Antonio Hardy (Big Daddy Kane), hip-hop recording artist
- Merle Watson, folk and bluegrass guitarist
- Pastor Shirley Caesar, gospel artist
- Kellie Pickler, country music artist
Kallan Louis is a writer and consultant for qcitymetro.com. He does a lot, but never feels like he’s doing enough. His life can be described as a Venn Diagram: News media, Black culture and sports. He’s always on TV, but rarely seen.