Japanese rapper MACCHO (from Ozrosaurus) | all photos by Cherry Chill Will

One weekend in 1996 when I was in high school some friends and I walked into a record shop in Shibuya and heard something that would alter the trajectory of our adolescent lives. The track was Ningenhatsudenjo (“human power generator”) and the group was Buddha Brand. The sound was raw, relatable and, best of all, undiscovered. Or at least that’s how it felt. We immediately bought the record but what we didn’t realize at the time is that we had stepped right into the rumblings of the burgeoning Japanese Hip Hop scene. And it was about to erupt.

At that very same record shop a young Japanese man was working day shifts while going out to clubs at night, dreaming of one day making it as a rapper. But, sensing that he didn’t have what it takes to become an MC, he one day put down the mic and picked up a camera. This was the start of the career of Cherry Chill Will, a photographer who has been at the front of crowds documenting the rise of Japanese Hip Hop.

Now, after over 25 years since his initial discovery of Hip Hop, Cherry Chill Will presents “Beats&Rhymes + PIXXX,” a photographic retrospective of Japanese Hip Hop. Starting June 6th and lasting for about 1 month, the exhibition will features a selection of intimate black & white photographs that capture the pensive and explosive energy of Japanese Hip Hop.

Beats & Rhymes + PIXXX
Shibuya NOS ORG (Map)
June 6 – July 6, 2017
Mon-Thu 6:00pm – 2:00am
Fri-Sat 6:00pm – 5:00am
Sun & Holidays 5:00pm – 11:00pm
(Note that the venue is a restaurant/bar and visitors will be asked place one order at a minimum. The venue also tends to get booked for private events on weekends and holidays so call ahead if you plan on going.)

left: ZEEBRA | right: SATUSSY