Before Señor Kaos became a hip-hop marketer/promoter in Atlanta, he was Jax's protégé. They met nearly a decade ago when Jax used to work at the Fat Beats record store.
I used to hang out at Fat Beats. I used to go down there after school. Sometimes I'd skip school, go down there on weekends, whatever. I would just hang out and listen to records. I was broke. I never bought anything. I would just be in there chilling, trying to see what's going on. And I met him there, I recognized him. I was like, "Yo, you whoopty-whoop, I just saw you on stage and shit."
He was like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." Mind you, I was 16 at this point. Jax was maybe 22 – somewhere around that ballpark. So he was really playing me to the left, like, "Yeah, buy my CD. Keep it moving." You know what I mean?
I used to always come through the store and just ask a whole lotta questions about whatever: "Yo, can you play me this? Yo, who is that? Yo, where'd they sample that from? Yo, how'd they do that?"
I was that dude. I would just come through and just be very annoying and just ask a lot of questions. And I could tell when I first met Jax he was very annoyed like, "Yo, who is this dude?"
But after a while, I think he just kinda recognized that ambition and he started warming up to me and answering a lot of them damn questions.
He was sorta like a big brother. He was like a mentor because he put me on the game on a lot of stuff, as far as being an up-and-coming artist trying to record music. Jax was really the person who just kinda saw what I was doing and was willing enough to help. And he was still trying to get his stuff off the ground and Binkis off the ground, but he was still like, "Hey, if you wanna do a show, you need to talk to such and such. I'll introduce you to him."
I remember he hooked me up like when I released my first [real] record. By then I had known him for a while. And I was like, "Jax, I'm trying to get this joint out of Atlanta. I'm trying to get it overseas. I'm trying to get it to these magazines. How do I do this?"
He went to his room and he came back and he had a list. And the list had like college radio [stations], cats that'll review you, XXL, this magazine, that magazine. He was like, "Yo, I'm only giving you this because you work hard, I fucks with you." It was basically his personal shit [and] he turned a copy of that over to me. That's just the type of dude that he was. If you were somebody who was working and he saw that, he was just always willing to help like with whatever you needed.
And he would let me record songs at his crib for free and I didn't have no damn money, just cause he saw that I was hungry and trying to make music. "Yo, come through. If you're serious, come through, you can record here. 'OK, cool.'"
Jax would always be there to help out on shows, if needed. It's just me and my DJ, me and Grandman. But Jax would be like, "Yo, if you need a hype man, I'll come through, do the hype man!"
Like, I'm dead ass [serious].... No other MC would ever put themselves out there like that to be like, "Yo, I'ma come through and be your hype man." This is somebody who has albums out, who has material out, somebody who's recognized. But that's just the type of dude he was. He was always willing to help somebody else out even though he was stupid busy.
Dude constantly worked on music. Constantly. He would put out one album, and then just start working on another one.
I used to always say, "Yo, work the album. Let people get a chance to hear this album. Let 'em get a chance to digest it, then come back with the new album."
But he really didn't work like that. He was more like, "They'll catch up." That's what he would always say, "I'm just going to keep on working. They'll catch up. I'm not gonna wait for them to get it. I'm not gonna wait for them to understand it, I'm just gonna make it and put it out. They'll catch up later." That earned him the name Jax the Catalog, because he had a catalog of material – solo material as well as Binkis album material.
You could listen to each of his joints back to back and just have an instant connection with it. 'Cause everything that he went through, you felt like, "Damn, I'm going through that too. Damn, I gotta get up and work this bullshit ass job, too."
The weird thing is how we all feel – everybody's kinda sad but we're also a little angry as well. When somebody passes, people try to show love. Like when we did the tribute show, one of the things Flux said was like, "Yo ... where the fuck was y'all at before?"
And that's the realest thing. It's very frustrating, especially as an artist, because you see what happened with J Dilla. You see what's happening with Jax now. You just feel like as an artist nobody even cares about you until you're gone. And once you're gone, people are like, "Aww, I used to love his music." But it's like, "Word? You never bought nothing!"
Like they say, you don't realize what you got till it's gone. People are real unappreciative. And when something's in front of your face you think it's always gonna be in front of your face.
You have to have an extreme love for music to do what he did, to record album after album. And even people around you will start to second-guess you, like, "Yo, you think you ever gone blow up?" Or, "You gonna make money off this?" You have to have an extreme love to go through all that hate and be like, "Yo man, fuck all that. That's not why I do this shit."
He made music because he truly enjoyed and loved making music.... Jax just had a lot of heart for this shit. He had a lot of heart and he had a lot of compassion a lot of people don't display.
If you really look at him and you look at Binkis, Binkis was kinda the last of an era for Atlanta. Because if you look at the era that they come from, they're kinda like the last of the Mohicans, so to speak. They're the last group that's still together, that's still doing shows, still consistently putting out music. Everybody else from that era either isn't in Atlanta anymore or broke up or went on to do different things. They were the last group that was from that '98-'99 era who were still around releasing records, still around doing shows, making shit happen.
So not only with his passing do you feel like you miss him, you kinda feel like an era of Atlanta indie hip-hop has changed. It's different. Because now there's nobody left really from that era.... It just feels like underground hip-hop in Atlanta won't be the same without Jax. It won't be.
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