Music » Jax Lives!

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


We met when we were 14 – 1990 – fresh out of junior high school, and we met at the High School of Art & Design [in New York]. We were both in the same social studies class for that entire year, each semester. And that first semester, we knew each other because he sat probably like three spaces behind me. We were always cracking jokes, but we never really introduced ourselves to each other.

We always ran into mutual friends, I guess you could say. Cats that he knew and I knew.

There was this mall at our train station – 53rd and Lex., the first stop in the city on the E train. And in the bottom was like a food mall, they had different food shops: pizzas, bagel spots, all that type of shit. So when we would be going through there going home, Jax would just be in there chilling. Just doing nothing.

Sometimes he might come up and be like, "Yo, let me borrow 35 cent, let me borrow a quarter, let me borrow 50 cent?" You know how that shit is.

And I was like, "Yo, what you need that shit for, man? You ain't got your own money?" And he said, "Naw, I spent it, whoopty-whoop. I just wanna get a soda or some shit."

So, I always remember him from that.

Then there was a time I was like, "Man, why you always in here. Where you live at?"

He said, "I live in Queens, Rochdale Village."

I was like, "Why you staying here? It takes mad long to get back to Queens, back to the crib."

He said, "I don't wanna go home 'cause I have to wash dishes. My brother be trying to skip on me washing dishes so the longer I wait, the more likely somebody'll do the dishes before I get to the crib."

We were bugging off of that.

Eventually, we all just started chilling in there. Some days we'd stay long, some days we'd go home early. And that's how we kinda connected.

Then the next semester in '91, we were in social studies class again and that's when we really connected. We just started dissing each other. And I guess, looking back at it, it could be seen like we were trying to size each other up to see if we were worthy of each other.

We didn't really start rhyming till like the last year, like '93-'94. We always would rhyme, but it wasn't like, "Yo, we rappers."

He came up with his name Jax, and he was telling me about the Jedis. Jedis Always eXist – that's what Jax means. So he was always into the Star Wars shit.

In 1994, Jax and Flux came to Atlanta. Jax enrolled in Clark Atlanta University, while Flux attended the Art Institute of Atlanta. They began hanging with a like-minded hip-hop collective called N.E.B.L.O.S., and also formed a loosely affiliated crew called Allstates (because the members were all from different states), which also consisted of a pre-Gangsta Grillz DJ Drama, Mike Self, Spice and Rubix. Eventually, Jax got the idea to form an independent record label he decided to call Binkis Records.

Jax had gone home and he saw his people struggling, and he was trying to come up with a way to where he could kinda benefit and basically save 'em all. Just get enough revenue and money to save his people. And he came to me that year, it was '97, and he was like "Yo, I got an idea. I want to start a record label."

I was like, "Word, man. Whatever you wanna do."

He said, "I wanna call it Binkis Records."

The word itself came about from my man Spice. He had this word him and his crew used to say, called "boonkas." It was a sound-effect-type word. When some shit happened, you'd be like, "Boon-kas!" Me and Jax used to bug off that shit, and we started saying it. And once, we were on campus and we were joking and shit – me, him and Spice – and he was like, "Yo, I'ma come up with my own shit. I'ma say 'Binkis.'" So that's how Binkis came about, and that's why he came up with Binkis Records.

My peoples at N.E.B.L.O.S., when we told them about Binkis Records, they were like that's what's up. They had bought some upgraded equipment and they gave us the old shit they used to use – a 12-second sampler and a TASCAM 8-track. Jax had a credit card and he went and bought a system, one of them little three CD joints with the double cassette deck. We used that as the receiver and we were in that muhfucka trying to figure out how to work the shit. He stayed on Fair Street at the time cause he was still working at Marco's Pita. They also gave us a turntable, 'cause we didn't have one. So once we figured out how it worked, they showed us how to make beats with it. That's when we started just going crazy.

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