Before DJ Drama's Gangsta Grillz mixtape series made him a hip-hop celeb, he entered the game via the underground as Binkis Recs' first DJ. Drama met Jax while attending Clark Atlanta University in the mid-1990s.
The first time I met Jax, it was like my freshman year of college at Clark, in, I think it was 1996. Jax had already been down here for a year and I was on campus. I had some ski goggles on, he was standing in front of the library listening to Flux and, you know, he gave me like a "what up" nod and we just started talking.
I guess we just started talking about hip-hop or whatever and we realized we had taste in common. I would see him around like my freshman year and everything, but we weren't all that close at first.
Then, after my freshman year, I had come back down here after going home for a second. When I came down, I was on the MARTA bus one time and I ran into Jax. We were both going to, I think, the Arts Center MARTA exit and he told me that he was about to start working for this guy named Marco. I knew Marco, because I knew about the shop [Marco's Pita] on Ponce [de Leon Avenue]. He was about to start working for Marco. Marco was about to open up another shop on campus and I was like, "Word? He need anybody else to work?"
And he said, "I don't know, go holla at him."
That was really how me and Jax befriended each other, by working at the pita shop on campus. Jax was the manager, and he hired me and Spice to work there. So, you know, you had three young hip-hop cats who all did music working in the shop on campus, selling pitas. Like, it was like a dream job come true.
After Binkis Recs' song "Beat You in the Head" won several weeks of the demo battle on New York radio host Bobbito's program in 1999, he invited them up to perform at the 23rd Annual Rock Steady Reunion.
I remember early on Bobbito took an early liking to Binkis and started fucking with us and he definitely put us on to the Rock Steady 23rd Anniversary. Then we had the Major League MCs – it was Massinfluence, it was Binkis Records, it was Big Von, it was Rubix. We had a big show at the Masquerade and we put it together like a sports show.
Jax was really my homie when it came to hip-hop. He always supported everything I did. Like, my early mix tapes here in Atlanta, I would hustle them through the pita shop and Jax would always support me. And if I wasn't there, he would help sell the tapes.
What set him apart is he was who he was. He wasn't somebody that, you know, tried to conform. He had his own sound. He had his own love for the music. And he stayed true to it and did his thing.
You know, I told Jax a couple of years ago, "When you need me, brother, I know we might have gone in different directions." But I told him whenever he needs me on a mixtape or just in general, just let me know; I got you. He stayed true to his music.
After I had gotten outta school and me, Sense and Cannon really started the Aphilliates, that was how I started going in the direction of the Aphilliates and then Binkis was doing them. But even though we went in different paths and different directions, it was always love and Jax was always proud of me. And when we ran into each other and when we talked, it was always kudos and props, and we would still build like it was no time in between us.
Me working at the pita shop, that was a very special time in my life – just the connection that we all had and the fun times that we all had. That's something that you really can't get back. I'm sad to see him gone, but people need to realize that he was a beautiful person and he definitely lived it and I'm proud to have known him.