Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

2019, what a year you’ve been. It feels like just a blur, but there’s been a TON of things that have shaped this year. From Canada winning its first NBA championship, to droves of people marching for climate change, to the Avengers becoming the highest grossing film of all time, it’s been super eventful. We saw a black hole get photographed, a U.S. president get impeached for only the third time in history, and sadly, continued violence throughout the country and world. It’s been a very busy year for real.

As I’ve done in years past, I want to take some time out and reflect on the year I’ve had too. There have been many great things I’ve experienced throughout the year, while other stuff I wouldn’t mind forgetting lol. But all in all, it’s important to appreciate how far we’ve traveled together. And BELIEVE ME, it’s been a long journey! Anddd with that said, let’s do it.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy my 2019 year in review!

Year of Change

If I were to characterize this year in one way, I’d say it was a year of change. I said goodbye to a past I was holding onto, and hello to the future. When it came to my career this year, I finally took back control and made a change. I said goodbye. While it was a huge deal, it was also a liberating decision. I reminded myself that I was in control and that I needed to make a change for my happiness and mental health. When you’re not being treated the way you expect to be, it’s simply not a good environment anymore. To address my anxiety and stress, I said peace out to a place I once knew to embrace a more optimistic future. It’s been a really good change.

I’m now working on lots of new and exciting things. I’ve returned to my roots, focusing on web design, graphic design, and video editing. I’ve also expanded into some other areas like social media management as well. I’ve really missed all this creative stuff and I’m glad that I’m back doing a lot of those things. And of course, I’ve got more time now to work on music as well.

This year also had some other highlights…


Fatherhood – At the top of the list is fatherhood. It’s been a really amazing year for me, as I’ve watched a baby become an infant and then a toddler. It’s also been a year of learning, as 2019 has taught me a lot about patience, time management, and problem solving (there are things you just never thought you’d encounter lol). Between witnessing crawling and walking, to planning a birthday party, there have been tons of milestones. And from theme park adventures to playing catch to watching nursery rhymes all day, it’s been tons of fun. Overall, it’s an absolutely rewarding journey to watch this little guy grow up and have a front row seat for it. Here’s to a lot more fun memories to be made in 2020!

Live Performance – I returned to the live stage this year, after what felt like an eternity. While the homey Oddeo (who usually accompanies me) wasn’t able to make it, I was joined by TyPeNyCe for the Ozone Hip Hop Fest. We performed several classics like “One of a Kind” and “Blow“, along with new music that included my “No Stylist” and “Plain Jane” freestyles. I think the best part was just the feeling of being back out there, interacting with the people, and seeing the reaction people got from the music. There’s something about performing that’s indescribable and it was really great to feel that again. Here’s to many more performances for the upcoming year.

Here’s some video footage from the performance:

My Birthday – I feel like nowadays, people get so busy with their day-to-day activities that it becomes more difficult for everyone to see each other. I reflected upon that a lot last year, and more this year too. So, in an effort to connect back up with friends and family, I arranged a big birthday party. A lot of people came out, where we caught up, shared stories, took photos, talked music, ate cake, and lots more. It was REALLY great to see everyone again, especially after so long. Sometimes it’s important to disconnect from all the rat-race stuff and get together with loved ones. I’m glad I got the chance to chill and reconnect with everyone.

New Studio – Exciting times with this one. After waiting forever, I finally started building up the new studio. While still early in the process, we began the process of putting together the furniture and layout for what will be the NEW studio where the NEW album will be finalized. I’ve got a lot of cool footage already, with more planned as I get the booth set up. I’ve also got some artwork I plan to put on the walls. This one has been a long time coming, but I’m ready to finally get it done and begin recording in this new space. Look out for more on this project in 2020.

Fav Music & Movies

Let’s take a moment and also talk about some of my fav things from the world of entertainment.

Avengers: Endgame – Ah, yes…where do I begin? Marvel Studios delivered with the final movie in the Infinity Saga, after building up and tying together a decade’s worth of movies. The result? An epic conclusion filled with action, laughter, and sadness. I remember how excited I was when the movie finally released, and how Marvel delivered with the film. While it wasn’t as good as Infinity War in my opinion, it was still a great film with tons of emotion. From the time heist to “Avengers…assemble” to Tony’s final sacrifice, there were so many awesome moments. It was sad to see this chapter close, but I look forward to what’s next in the MCU.

Spider-Man: Far from Home – After Endgame, I wasn’t sure where they’d go with it. But Marvel and Sony came through, giving us a fun pick-me-up while also pushing the Spidey narrative forward. I really enjoyed Jake Gyllenhaal’s role as Mysterio, along with the progression of Tom Holland as Peter Parker. There was also a lot of attention paid to the emotion that Peter was feeling, and how that affected his decisions. It was definitely a great film all around.

Let’s talk music now…

Gangstarr – One of the Best Yet – After Guru’s passing, I wasn’t sure we’d ever heard another Gang Starr album. Well, we did. Primo recovered some previously-recorded acapellas and put together an extremely dope album. From start to end, I felt like I was transported to another time. It felt like classic Gang Starr, even with Primo putting together this album by himself. And with verses from Royce to M.O.P., the album takes us to a lot of different places and covers different moods as well. While the album would have definitely sounded better had Guru been alive, it’s still a really good album.

And here a few fire songs that came out this year too:

I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot, but these are some of the ones that got lots of replay from me.

The Wrap-up

Looking back, there’s been a lot that’s characterized this year. If there’s something I noticed though, it was signs. Let me explain.

I saw on more than one occasion that the universe was talking to me. Please elaborate, Jaxxx. Lol ok. Whether it was someone from my past contacting me, friends telling me things that were right on time, or just how certain situations played out, it felt like things were happening for a reason. For example, I was gearing up to start some website work and a friend who also does web design hit me up on InstaGram. In another instance, I was talking about how I want to put out more music next year, and within a couple of days, two producers hit me up to make some new stuff. And in another instance, an old colleague reached out to me to talk about some relevant things while I was going through them. It felt ironic and weird, but also RIGHT. It’s like ok, I see what’s going on…and I know I’m on the right road. There were several other instances, but yeah.

On the topic of music, I wasn’t active enough (again) this year. Life’s introduced new things which take my time and there were times where I felt unmotivated too. I don’t hear enough music that WOWs me anymore, and that’s likely part of it. I can also sometimes overwhelm myself with too much which burns me out. To address some of these things, I’m going to plan activities out better to address this.

It’s not just that though. I know that there were things in my career that affected me and my grasp on things. I’m not tryna scapegoat anything but I know it affected me. I was working krazy hours, constantly pursuing perfection, which affected the way I felt. This feeling dragged on for months and months, which really took its toll on me throughout the year. It weighed extremely heavy on me, and I’m still not quite over everything. I’m feeling better though. I’m working on new projects, with new people, and back to some of those things I loved doing from when I was back in college.

Because of some of these things that were going on, I didn’t put out enough content. From no album this year, to producing LESS videos than last year, it kinda sucks man. But let’s not get down on ourselves. I did what we could and learned a lot too! And of course, I will channel the things I learned to making next year even better. You know the saying…every setback is a setup for a comeback!

What to Expect for 2020

So what can you expect from Ajaxxx for 2020? Wellllllllllll……..

1. The album – Ok, ok, I know I’ve said this before, but I’m for real this time. I’ve broken the album into small steps and pending actions so I know what needs to get done. And with the studio being built, we’re on the way. I know that there’s still a ton of work left, but I’ve made it my mission to get it done this year. Here we go!

2. The website – Yes, I also said I was going to relaunch last year, but it really fell off the priority list. I still realize the importance of it though, as social media can become very noisy. I’m learning a lot and going to apply a lot of those things into the new site. I won’t rush to it, but yes, expect to see version 3 very soon.

3. Apparel – Once some of the graphics are done, I’ll be releasing new T-shirts. I’ve already got a few designs identified and started on, and I know this is something people have asked me for before too. It’s gonna be a fun one. I also don’t mind getting help here, as I know how busy next year’s gonna be.

4. 100+ videos – Wait, what’d you say? Lol yes, I’m going to be posting a TON more content next year. I’ve already bought new camera equipment, so why not, right? I won’t be doing 100 songs or anything, but I will be doing different types of videos like acapellas, freestyles, and behind-the-scenes stuff too. I hope to give you a lot more Ajaxxx this year. Can’t wait!

5. Health – Man, they aren’t lying when they say health is wealth. This year has also been challenging for my health, whether physical or mental. Next year, I’m really prioritizing my health. From meditation to working out to eating healthy, I’m going to be focused on bettering myself. I hope to also share videos and pics of my journey too. Hope you join me on the ride.

2020 WILL be a great year. I feel like I left a lot of negative baggage in 2019 that really weighed me down. With that said, I also realize I’m undertaking a ton of work and need to balance that with some type of social life too lol. I’m up for it though. I know that I can’t achieve these goals and attain the level of success I want by sitting still – I gotta make these moves. And even if I aim high, and come up short, I still will have come mad far, right? Right!

I’ve got a plan. I’ve made a calendar. I’ve identified strategic moves, along with HOW we execute too. It feels like a mountain, but I need to continue to remind myself about small goals. And I’ve also found that by planning wayyy ahead, I will find some inspiration on the days where I feel like blah. That’ll go a long way.

Thank you for reading this and for rocking me with on this journey throughout 2019. I wish you a great new year! Here’s to closing the book on QUITE the decade and welcoming in a new one. Hope you’re ready to travel this road with me. Until then, my peoples…HAPPY NEW YEAR!