9th Wonder has long been regarded as one of Hip Hop’s most revered producers; so it comes as no surprise that he’s been honored in the very place his career began — North Carolina.
On Friday (July 14), the Grammy Award-winning producer and DJ took to Instagram, where he shared a snapshot of a gray-scale mural bearing his likeness — which is currently under construction in Winston-Salem’s arts district courtesy of a muralist by the name of Scott Nurkin.
“Coming soon….. Downtown Winston-Salem, N.C. My home… Thank you…I owe you everything… (red heart emoji),” 9th Wonder captioned the post.
Check out the post below:
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In 2020, Nurkin — a North Carolina native himself — created the Musician Murals Project in which he set out to honor North Carolina musicians by plastering their faces across blank walls in cities and towns they are closely tied to.
His previous work has included jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in his birthplace of Hamlet, jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk in Rocky Mount, as well as singers Nina Simone in Tryon, and Roberta Flack in Black Mountain.
“When I found out how many wonderful, brilliant, pioneering musicians were from North Carolina it was like, why did I not learn about this in North Carolina history? Why did it take me well into my adulthood to figure out John Coltrane or Nina Simone were from these small towns,” said Nurkin of the project in an interview with local news syndicate, Spectrum News 1, earlier this year. “So I felt like it was really important to teach that to people that otherwise didn’t know it.”
Needless to say, fans were impressed by the unveiling and took to Instagram to congratulate 9th Wonder on his latest accolade.
“Give 9th his flowers while he’s here! I loveeeee it! So dope! [goat and crown emojis],” wrote one user, while another added: “Well deserved to one of our very own here in NC!! Much respect G! [flexed armed and fist emoji].”
Another simply pointed out that dope people get dope recognition. “Dope people are recognized for doing dope things [clapping and party emoji] Much deserved,” the comment reads.
Born Patrick Denard Douthit in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1975, 9th Wonder first hit the mainstream Hip Hop scene in 1998, when he formed the trio Little Brother, with Phonte Coleman and Thomas “Big Pooh” Jones.
The group released the critically acclaimed album The Listening, which garnered a warm reception from fans and fellow industry heads alike. However, in 2007 9th Wonder exited the group.
Shortly after, 9th was tapped to produce a track on JAY-Z‘s The BlackAlbum — marking his first major label placement. The milestone was a pivotal turning point in his career. “He said my name on the song, and that’s when my career kind of took off,” he told The News & Observer in a 2019 interview.
“I went to the bathroom and cried — Seriously. It wasn’t like a sobbing cry. It was a moment. … That was my moment in time that I could say, ‘Wow, I made it.”
Since then, he’s produced for a myriad of artists including Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Erykah Badu, and Mary J. Blige, and has nurtured talent through his Jamla Records label, including Grammy-nominated Rapsody, also a North Carolina native.