Chi Modu — legendary hiphop photographer exhibition forever in Cryptovoxels Hip Hop gallery

Voxels
3 min readMar 13, 2022

Editor’s Note: After posting about Alotta Money’s passing, believing it was the first memorial in our metaverse, we actually learned of another creator in Cryptovoxel’s passing from last year. So we wanted to highlight his life and work. This post was written by an amazing woman, film-maker, and leader in the Czech Republic, 113kw, and we hope that it respects Chi Modu’s family. To request any revisions, please email kasey@voxels.com.

Voxel HipHop Images Gallery created by Chi Modu in Deep South, Origin City

Have you ever searched the word “hiphop” in Cryptovoxels?

If you try it, you easily find “Hip Hop Images Gallery” that belongs to no other, than Chi Modu (July 7,1966-May 22, 2021), American/Nigerian photographer, who took photos of many hiphop legends like Snoopdogg and Nas.

Chi, born in Nigeria, raised in New Jersey, first picked up a camera while he was a student at Rutgers. He was working at International Center of Photography, and later at The Source, which was the definitive magazine of hip hop culture. Thanks to this, Chi developed relationships with the biggest icons of the hip hop movement, including Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, and L-L Cool J, most of whom were not yet famous at the time.

When you look through his photos, you realize that you know many of them either from magazines or album covers through the years. Alongside his other photography work, Chi had a massive outdoor exhibition between 2013–2017 in New York, when huge sized photos started appearing on the exterior walls of select NYC buildings, as part of an ongoing installation called UNCATEGORIZED.

UNCATEGORIZED has also shown up in Seoul, Korea; Bangkok, Thailand; Oslo, Norway; Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil; Barcelona, Spain; Berlin, Germany; Los Angeles, CA; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Dubai, UAE and Lagos, Nigeria. What began as making a bold statement in New York City has become a global movement, with Modu’s loyal fans traveling from city to city to see both him and his latest incarnation of UNCATEGORIZED.

Find more details on the official website https://www.chimodu.com/ and online shop https://hiphopimages.com/ .

After Chi Modu sadly passed away in May 2021, a group of NFT collectors and enthusiasts, alongside with British collector Q, discovered his Cryptovoxels gallery, and spread the word about the precious collection.

You can visit for yourself the OG “Hip Hop Images Gallery” in Deep South, Origin City. The design is simplistic, and it offers some of the legendary photo NFTs linked to Opensea and a video interview with Chi Modu.

Voxel HipHop Images Gallery created by Chi Modu in Deep South, Origin City

For many NFT collectors, these photos are a piece of history, forever minted on the blockchain.

Some of the photos are truly rare pieces, for example this photo of Notorius B.I.G in front of the World Trade Center.

Chi’s photographic work has appeared in commercials, films, and music documentaries along with being held in private collections. His images have been licensed by Sony, Paramount, Viacom, The New York Times and The LondonTimes.

Legendary magazine Rolling Stone said, that its epic book, “The ’90s: The Inside Stories from the Decade That Rocked,” would not have been complete without Chi’s iconic photo of Tupac. His photos are the covers of Rolling Stone Magazine and Jazz Times, album covers for Snoopdogg, Method Man, Mobb Deep, Mad Lion, and Christian McBride.

His work has appeared in prestigious exhibitions, including the Hutchins Gallery, Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville NJ, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn NY, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland OH, and in the decentralized Cryptovoxels (rebranding to Voxels) metaverse, as a part of Origin City forever.

May he rest in peace. ❤

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