Hip Hop producer 9th Wonder has been dedicating his time to building a Hip Hop archive for Harvard’s library.
In 2016, 9th Wonder chose the first four albums to enter the archives as part of a project called “These Are The Breaks,” which he describes as “a collection of albums that are standard of the culture.”
This week, the Jay Z/J. Cole/Kendrick Lamar collaborator stopped by Harvard to see all four albums in their archived form: The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill, Nas’ Illmatic, A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory and Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly.
He shared an image of the albums to Instagram, which picked up a ton of attention.
In 2012, I was chosen to be a Harvard University Fellow at The Dubois Institute under the direction of @henrylouisgates and Dr. Marcy Morgan. I chose the research project "These Are The Breaks"….a collection of albums that are the standard of the culture…..200 in all in no particular order. These are the first four we chose to start with….to live for forever in the Harvard Library…and to be forever placed in the canon…complete with liner notes and the vinyl that was used in the production of the album…… To live forever….shouts @levelsoundz and @madtwiinz for the masterful design of the boxes and content. @HarvardUniversity @TheHipHopArchive 4 down.. 196 to go….
(Definitely more than a similar one shared last March.)
9th Wonder, working under the direction of historians Henry Louis Gates and Marcy Morgan, is choosing 200 albums to “live forever in the Harvard Library.” The albums will be housed forever in one of the world’s most illustrious libraries “complete with liner notes and the vinyl that was used in the production of the album.”
Another album has already been chosen, 1988’s Lyte As A Rock by MC Lyte. The aim of the project is to preserve 200 Hip Hop albums for posterity. Updates can be found at the Hip Hop Archives website.
9th Wonder was named a fellow of the Ivy League university in 2012, and will play a huge role in deciding which Hip Hop albums are honored in the “These Are The Breaks” project.