Chester Watson

A Japanese Horror Film

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PUT THIS IN YOUR DEN, please! Chester Watson's debut A Japanese Horror Film will go down as an all-timer. Cinematic, psychedelic hip hop with dope beats, this is Watson's debut which he put out when he was just 23 years old. Largely self-produced, this took him 3 years to make. He used all of Justin Vernon's (Bon Iver) synths to make the smoky Madlib-like beats. Dark, ominous, and fantastic, this just might be the future of hip hop. Perfect in the fall, but great all year round. 

Concept albums can suck. Yet, done right, they can surpass a listener's expectations of what is possible with music. Watson's story is certainly a different take on most hip hop: An interdimensional journey of meetings with yokai (supernatural spirits from Japanese folklore), the stories told are nuts (in the best ways). The album touches subjects like astral projection, past lives, reincarnation, folklore, and mythology. A Japanese Horror Film is a dive into the realm of possibility.

For the last half-decade, Chester has mastered the art of dusted and damaged psychedelic music, ideal for imprecations and illicit behavior, baleful hymns and bleak parables. He has re-imagined himself as a cursed black Pharaoh covered in golden scarabs, an enigma with wings, suffused with Eastern philosophy, skateboards, and spitting raps as hot as Guatemalan springs. A new anti-hero with venom, the ballet-dancing beast hallucinated on ayahuasca or just too much liquor. As Watson says himself, "the best villain since Mad-V."

A Japanese Horror Film features guest spots from frequent collaborators, Kent Loon of Nu Age, Psymun (producer for Young Thug, The Weeknd), and Dua Saleh - and mastering by L.A. underground legend, Zeroh. Pitchfork hailed his ability to build a "self contained world with his magnetic monotone and intricate, evocative raps."