JusChris is a Chicago-born, Nigerian-bred verse spitter who I've known for several years. We met via "Black Adventist Twitter," and saw each other at various functions in the Atlanta area from time to time. I knew about his life as an artist, but it wasn't until he dropped his Matter EP late last year that I really stopped to listen to what he had to say.
Our shoot took place in various Atlanta locations that I thought had a real down home feel. Man, I really love this kind of photo shoot because it's 100% relaxed. Chris's music isn't about being hood rich, or wanting/living a big money lifestyle, so to me it wouldn't have made sense to hold a big-production "glossy" photo shoot. There wasn't a whole lot of consideration given to posing, no lighting rigs, no crazy expensive "hot new lens/camera of the month". Just fluidity. I listened to Matter throughout shooting, sorting, and editing, which helped to shape what I saw in these photos once I imported them and chose the few I'd be using: some aren't perfectly in focus, the background might be a little crooked, and Chris looks low-key awkward in a couple (sorry Chris, I was listening to Jessica when I green-lit those). That's on purpose. All of those imperfections contribute to the overall feel of the collection.
Visually, I struggled with a couple of choices for the editing style. I knew I wanted to start with a matte base for the photos. Again, ain't no gloss, bih. What I really went back and forth on was how to color the images. Matter is a pretty straightforward, raw album. The beats are simple, Chris doesn't do a lot of acrobatics with his raps, and the lyrics are easy to understand. So I considered keeping it 100% real-to-life coloring, but I know me, and I don't do simple. I found myself desaturating the original hues to make room for whatever I was about to do. I experimented with an African flag colors theme, then just green tints, and even earth tones. I eventually settled on the red and mild yellows motif you see here, but kept Chris's skin tone black and beautiful. It feels like Matter: mellow and calm, except where he sees red and spits righteous on tracks like "Victory Lap I & II" and the verse he blessed the barbershop with while we were together.
Chris's Payblack has been deferred (he got good credit). He's got some new music to drop and it will debut here. Still, it wouldn't be fair if I didn't share a little something. Here's one of my favorite tracks from the album: Victory Lap.