THURSDAY 6 JULY 2023, LONDON, UK –  Black Cultural Archives (BCA), the leading heritage centre celebrating the rich history of African and Caribbean people, will be hosting ‘The Ascension Years’, the upcoming exhibition by acclaimed photographer Tee Max. 

This groundbreaking exhibition will feature a captivating collection of never-before-seen images showcasing some of the most iconic figures in hip-hop and R&B from the early 1990s, including Notorious B.I.G., Nas, and Beyoncé. The exhibition opens on Thursday 10th August and runs until early September 2023.

‘The Ascension Years’ is set to be a transformative experience for visitors as they delve into the vibrant world of hip-hop and R&B during its pivotal period. Tee Max, known for his keen eye and ability to capture intimate moments, has curated an extraordinary collection that offers a unique glimpse into the lives of these legendary artists during their early careers. 

Throughout the exhibition, attendees will be transported back in time, immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of an era that shaped the course of popular music. Tee Max’s photographs serve as visual time capsules, preserving the essence and energy of the artists.

“I want to thank the BCA for affording me the opportunity to display part of my archive, in a space dedicated to highlighting the work and accomplishments of black artists.” Said Tee

“I’m also excited at the prospect of hearing the stories and memories evoked by the pictures from the viewing public.”

Black Cultural Archives (BCA) is honoured to host this remarkable exhibition, which aligns with their commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of African and Caribbean people in Britain and beyond. As the UK’s only heritage centre dedicated to this cause, Black Cultural Archives provides a vital platform for exploring the richness and diversity of Black culture. ‘The Ascension Years’ is an ideal fit for the institution’s ongoing efforts to highlight the pivotal role of Black artists in shaping the global music landscape.

“We are delighted to welcome Tee Max and his collection, ‘The Ascension Years,’ to Black Cultural Archives,” said Hannah John, BCA’s Deputy Director. “As a body of work captured in the UK by a Black British artist, this exhibition perfectly encapsulates our mission to celebrate and honour African and Caribbean people’s rich history and cultural impact. 

“Tee Max’s extraordinary photographs shed light on the early days of hip-hop and R&B, capturing the essence of an era that continues to inspire generations. We encourage everyone to experience the exhibition for themselves in person.”

A new archive will be created of Tee’s work at the archives alongside a series of events allowing people to meet the artist and learn more about his life, work and practice.

For more information, including press inquiries and image requests, please contact Juanita Rosenior at TGRG at 0207 375 6024 or


Tee Max is available for interview via Juanita Rosenior on 0203 375 6024 or

The Ascension Years from Thursday 10 August until Sunday 3 September 2023 at Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, London, SW2 1EF

For full programming will be announced at

About Tee Max

Tee’s photography journey began with a trip abroad, aged 11. A camera loaned to him by his mother offered a new outlook on the world. By the early 90s, he was shooting for urban lifestyle magazines and documenting the rise of iconic names such as Notorious B.I.G., Mary J Blige and Wu-Tang Clan; while capturing the spirit of London’s vibrant youth scene.

What makes Tee’s work so unique is that he has captured some of the world’s most iconic artist’s from the world of hip-hop and R’n’B and yet that work has lain undiscovered by the world until now.

Tee is committed to celebrating people of colour and the rich diversity of their cultures. His travels have broadened his focus, enabling him to meet everyday individuals from around the world who are proud to share their authentic selves.

Whoever he is photographing his motivation is simple: to give a sense of who people are in a moment. His mission to tell analogue stories in a digital age feels more urgent than ever.

You can find out more about Tee Max on his website and follow him on Instagram @teedilla71 

About Black Cultural Archives:

Black Cultural Archives is the home of Black British History. 

We use our mission to collect, preserve and celebrate the histories of people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK and to inspire and give strength to individuals, communities and society. 

Our HQ is 1 Windrush Square in Brixton, London. 

At our HQ we run a series of gallery exhibitions, educational programmes and public engagement events. We provide free access to our unique set of archives, museum objects and reference library. 

We have become the leading non-governmental and heritage institutional voice for the Windrush Generation. We are part of the Windrush Action Group and the Windrush National Organising Committee. 

BCA’s network includes current collaborations with the Universities of Roehampton and Kings College.  

We are leaders in the heritage sector for our work on workforce diversity, and we are interrogating decolonial archival practices.

You can learn more about BCA on their website or follow them on social media @bcaheritage