New Year’s Release Date for ’Overdue Process’ – 2008 Reflections

January 1, 2009

New Year’s Day is the new release date for the new Zo! and Asylum 7 album Overdue Process.  Yeah, we know it’s an awkward date because it’s not a Tuesday or whatever…But, uhhh…. we’re not signed, we can release an album whenever we want to! lol Nah for real, we wanted the opportunity to set the bar for the new year – I guess in clichéd terms, we want to be able to start the year off right musically. So the newest album, Zo! and Asylum 7 – Overdue Process, will be released on the 1st off January. Here is the cover art…

Reflections on Two-Thousand Eight

Ahhh (reflective sigh)…2008 has been an interesting year to say the least. I brought the year in while vacationing in Aruba and came right back home to work. There were two projects that were ready for completion. Me and Phonte decided one day to leak the cover art for the Zo! and Tigallo Love the 80’s album…aaaannnd many laughs later lol, the joint was released through Fat Beats on July 22nd and has damn near sold out since then. We even got love from The Rude Boys’ lead singer Joe Little (big props!) for re-working “Written All Over Your Face”. The first time any of the 80’s joints were performed live was here in D.C. at Busboys and Poets on September 22nd. Tay was the featured artist while The ELs provided the music. That night it was Omar on bass, Biscuit on drums, and myself ..s. The performance was so special that it landed us all on the road with The Foreign Exchange hitting NYC, DC and ATL…much more on this to come. 

Teaching has been challenging this year (as it is every year), but I took the summer off and completed a TON of music and my students were invited BACK to perform at the University of Maryland in early October.

This year I have read books on kats ranging from Rick James, Faith Evans, Prince, and Miles Davis to Malcolm X, Fred Wesley, Grandmaster Flash, Charlie Parker, and the early days of hip hop.

I took part in completing THREE albums…one which will never see the light of day.

AND kept up my 4.0 GPA in graduate school.
I lost a good friend of mine on November 3rd – respect due to Chris “Jax” Thurston, 1976-2008…

…The following day, I was fortunate enough to witness and be a part of this year’s historical election results (now the REAL work begins).

I, along with many of my people at home, have even managed to sit and watch the Lions win not a single GAME this season, LAWD!!…

…The Red Wings did their thing last season and won it all though… Congratulations!!

Oh yeah, I made it to my 30th year back in September! And the celebration was CRAZY…

Overall, 2008 has been another blessing and yet another step in the right direction toward musical growth. I have learned a ton in the last 12 months and I am looking very forward to new things to come in ’09…


Oh, by the way.
2009 will bring two albums…

…just visiting too 
(follow up to 2006’s …just visiting)


(solo album featuring Phonte, Yahzarah, AB, and Sy Smith)

YES…I am excited.

Remembering Jax of Binkis Recs (1976-2008)

Me and Jax displaying a good ole Ralph Carter a/k/a Michael Evans album, 2002

Normally not a morning person, I woke up this morning in pretty good spirits – excited about the possible results of today’s election as well as waiting to hear some feedback on the Overdue Process joint we just leaked. I think the last thing I expected to wake up to was news regarding the passing on of a good friend…

Last night Binkis Recs lost one of its family members – the talented and charismatic emcee by the name of Jax. This was a kat who loved life, his family, loved to laugh and had a true passion and a gift for hip-hop music. I had to pleasure of meeting the brotha via my man DJ Jon Doe of Prophetix back in 2002. Jax left about a 2-minute extra-enthusiastic voicemail on my phone praising some of the music that he heard from me beginning with his famous, “Zo Boogie! This is Jax kiiiiiiid.” It was actually a message that I saved for a while after that because it was the first time I had ever heard someone get that excited about any works that I had done. I called him back soon after, we conversed and clowned out for about 45 minutes and we were good from then on.

Phife, Rasta Root, Nico, Slick-N-Rose, Jax, and I in Studio A (Dearborn, MI)

We got to hang out in person only a few times over those years, mostly down in Atlanta where he lived and another time in Detroit when he, PhifeRasta Root and Slick-N-Rose were all in town to record at Studio A (pictured above). But every time we were in contact, whether it was via phone or IM, he was the same ole animated, high-energy, good-natured dude. Our conversations sometimes seemed like a comedic battle involving intense joke cracking (on each other or otherwise) and witty one-liners (he always got me on those though). Jax was just a genuine brotha overall – full of positive energy and we will all miss that. Although we only worked on just one joint together (“Limitless” from his Sharper Images album), we always held a high level of mutual respect with regards to one another’s artform while planning to work again on more music in the future.

The one thing that will continue to stick out in my head as I continue to try and wrap my mind around the fact that he has even passed is how much of a humbled supporter he was of his people. This was made crystal clear to me about a half hour ago when his wife, Lisa, whom I had never even met before sent me a text introducing herself and explaining to me who she was. I found this to be highly commendable being as though she was less than 12 hours removed from being informed of her husband’s passing. But she reached out in part, to let me know that they had a date set for an “official” wedding ceremony (the 22nd of this month) and for their introduction, Jax requested they use the song I produced for Little Brother“When Everything Is New.” I was blown away, which had to have been evident as the only thing I could respond with was, “Woooow”. It may not seem like much, but to me that small bit of information uplifted just as much as it hurt because as I said, it was a strong reminder of what kind of guy he was… Jax, you will be missed heavily man.

Rest in Peace to Chris Thurston a/k/a Jax of Binkis Recs… Always

(March 15, 1976 – November 4, 2008)