Craig "Flux" Singleton remembers his friend and Binkis Recs co-founder, Christopher "Jax" Thurston 

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A homegirl of ours had some of her pop's records. She let us hold those records. I got all my old records from my pops and my moms. He got records from his pops and moms. And that kinda like started our collection. Then we started making beats. And once we figured out how to do that, we got ourselves a little cheap microphone and a mic stand and we started recording there.

I think we were fully set up in '98.

In 1999, an early Binkis song, "Beat You in the Head," won several demo battles on New York DJ/radio host Bobbito's CM Famalam show (WKCR-FM 89.9). After including the song on his Farewell Fondle Em (Definitive Jux) compilation released in 2001, Bobbito released two Binkis 12-inches – "Bullitt" b/w "Eyearm," and "Marquee" b/w "That's What I'm Talking About" – on his Fruitmeat Records label. As the underground scene in Atlanta began to bubble, Jax earned a reputation for being a prolific MC. By the time Binkis released The Reign Begins in 2003 (Day By Day Entertainment), Jax had already been releasing solo material since 2001, beginning with Observe and J.F.K., and continuing with the Sharp Images EP, Black Capitalism, The Sharpener mix CD, and Sharper Images in '07. He also made feature appearances on other projects during the same time.

Sometime around The Reign Begins album, Jax came up with [the meaning behind the BINKIS acronym]: Before Ignorant Niggas Killed Intelligent Songs. And I was like, "Shit, yeah, that's it." Because that's what we represented – before just all the glamour, glitz and superficial music became the staple of what people call hip-hop.

We represent all of that shit, all the "underground" shit where people are not talking about superficial shit all the time. They're trying to get points across. They're trying to uplift. They're trying to just have fun – not fitting ourselves into any type of stereotype.

So that's what that shit stood for. And that's not the only thing it stood for. That was just one of the things, but the fact that Binkis is and could be anything we wanted it to be, that gave us that much more freedom to be ourselves.

Man, we would be going through some turmoil or whatever [and] you would never really know that shit because we all kept each other's spirits up. Plus, the shit that we would find funny a lot of people wouldn't even be laughing at.

These are some of the things I'm going to remember about him. Anytime I see like a mascot, or a dude in a dog suit, or some shit like that, I'ma think about him 'cause he always laughed at that shit. That's his shit – mascots. He'd die off that shit. The fact that it's a dude in a suit and he's pretending to be real and making them faces. It's just shit like that, we'd always be dying. We could be dead broke and we'd be laughing about that shit. Laughing about how much money we ain't got, any and everything.

We'd crack up just to be living and enjoying each other, enjoying our true selves.

He'd get ideas from his dreams on a consistent basis. A lot of song ideas, like "Lamax," that was a dream. One joint on J.F.K., "Do Not Be Alarmed, I'm the Sandman," that was about his dreams.

He would have dreams where he was battling rappers, like well-known rappers, and they'd be doing some shit. Like I know he had a dream where he had to battle KRS-One. KRS-One was rapping and he had Jax's pops in a head lock and Jax had to battle him to make him release him. And he battled him and he was shrinking, like the more he started battling and winning, KRS-One would shrink.

"Underpaidslavery" – that's a song based off him working at UPS, for real. He got into that shit from my man Goldi Gold who was working at UPS at the time. He was looking for a job and he didn't want to come work with me – I was working at the toy store – even though he worked with me there earlier. But he was trying to get a job. So my man Goldi told him UPS is always hiring. So, you know, he went to UPS, got on, and he thought he wouldn't be there as long as he was but he just stayed on.


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