For the past several years 9th Wonder has been an “artist-in-residence” professor at North Carolina Central University, Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania, and since 2012 he has been a Harvard University Fellow at The Dubois Institute.
Under the direction of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Dr. Marcy Morgan, and in collaboration with the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute (HARI), 9th has spent the last few years cultivating and curating “These Are The Breaks,” an archive of influential hip hop albums that are widely considered to be a “standard of the culture.”
Taking to his Instagram page, 9th has revealed the first four albums that will be entered and will forever remain in the Loeb Music Library at Harvard University: A Tribe Called Quest‘s The Low End Theory (1991), Nas‘ Illmatic (1994), Lauryn Hill‘s The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (1998), and Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp A Butterfly (2015).
These are 9th’s first four of a planned 200 albums to be archived, and 9th has expressed that they will be entered “in no particular order.” A minimum of ten albums will be archived into the collection each year.
Alongside the selected albums, versions of earlier recordings containing the original music used for their samples in the albums will be included as well. These vinyls will be made accessible for listening at the Loeb Music Library, and can be played via turntables.
A digital copy of the Loeb Classic Crates Collection archive, along with other material, is also available on the HARI’s Classic Crates website.