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Inside A Beatmaker's Harvard Class

Hip hop was born back in the early 1970s, around the same time college students were graduating with new majors in Feminist Studies, Environmental Studies and Black Studies. Initially seen by much of academia as marginal at best, PC at worst, those subjects are now considered conventional. Filmmaker Kenneth Price grew up with hip hop, and noticed that over the past decade, a number of prestigious institutions had taken an interest in and were studying hip hop with the same rigor as other disciplines. "I was curious about this field of hip-hop studies," Price says. "I wasn't aware of the depth that was happening at these Ivy League schools, and was kind of amazed that no one had made a film of it yet." So he did by following Patrick Douthit, or 9th Wonder, as he's professionally known, to Harvard. 9th spent the 2012-2013 academic year as a Harvard Fellow, teaching at the Hip Hop Research Institute. It's part of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, often billed as the most comprehensive collection of African and African-American studies in the country. At the film's outset, 9th confesses it was an unlikely scenario, "Nobody from hip hop was supposed to go to Harvard without a degree," he says. "Nobody. To do anything." #FullNewsAudioAvailable #NPR


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