9th Wonder, HBCU, North Carolina Central University, NCCU, A Different World
9th Wonder Says ‘A Different World’ Inspired Him To Attend An HBCU

Super-producer 9th Wonder shares his story on how watching ‘A Different World’ inspired him to attend an HBCU. He sat down for a video interview at his alma mater, North Carolina Central University, a place that he first called home in the 90’s. “I became a student at North Carolina Central August 18, 1993. I applied to a lot of schools, but I wanted the HBCU experience because of ‘A Different World.'”

9th Wonder’s mother went to a technical school, and his father dropped out of high school in tenth grade. Despite coming from this background, he worked hard to do well in his honors classes, and had his sight set on becoming a first generation college student. “Me being in honors classes, I might’ve been the only Black kid or maybe it was three or four other Black kids out of a room of thirty. But now I’m coming to a university where there were Black kids that were just as smart as me, but we’re like 50 sitting in a room.”  He credits ‘A Different World’ and ‘The Cosby Show’ for introducing him to the college atmosphere. “Other than going to Winston Salem State games, I really didn’t have a chance to experience what Black college was like. I just saw it on tv.”

9th Wonder started as a music producer, and met hip hop artist Phonte there, who also graduated from NCCU. He would first return back to his alma mater in 2006 to teach a hip hop class. The video interview below shares his second time being back to NCCU. “My second time here at North Carolina Central means a lot, because I get a chance to speak to a different generation…It means that I’ve been attached to this university for 23 years of my life.”