Jax Da Ripper – a classic Frolaboration
Jax Da Ripper – A H20 x Frolab Frolaboration
This is the second of two illustrations that I (H20) did for the “Who’s Jax Art Show” in Atlanta last week. The photo of Jax was provided by the Frolab. In the late 90’s, Jax was hired by Nito to work at the Fat Beats store in Atlanta. Their friendship extends much deeper than that but, it’s where a lot of Jax’s ambitions excelled.
This is one of the photos that Nito took for Jax’s “Sharper Images“ album. He was initially gonna display it at the art show but decided to Frolaborate with an artist instead. I started to draw the picture exactly as it was taken but, after drawing his face I began to see something different. Without the mirror reflection in the scene I no longer saw Jax looking at himself. It appeared as if he was looking outward… at something you could only see from an elevated position. I knew that I was gonna change the picture but the knife in his hand stayed stuck on my mind. So I started thinking of all kinds of blades… an axe maybe, for Jax the Axe Handler… cuz that was also one of his alias names. But as I referred back to the photo, I saw two blades and turned them into swords.
In my opinion, there’s no other figure with a warrior’s spirit like the samurai’s. They didn’t use guns, they fought to the death and prided themselves in protecting their people. In so many ways Jax also embodied those same methods of living. So I kept the Japanese theme throughout… and the letters in the flag are Japanese for “the ripper”. On the Sharper Images album Jax has a song called “Jax Da Ripper”, in which is his remake of the LL Cool J song entitled “Jack The Ripper”. In this joint he pays homage to all of the lyricists from Queens, who helped to pave the way for him to have a chance in music. This is a quote from one of the four & a half verses he went-in on: “I’ma slow it up, my flow is tough, chop B.S. promoters up / Cash for the verbal slash, Jax is gonna blow it up!”
Jax photo taken by C.Nito for Frolab.