On Saturday as a few of us here at HM interviewed bands at Forty fest. A good friend of mine was struggling to stay alive. Humble Beast artist Citizen Aim died on August 21 2010. Christopher Jon Walk aka Citizen Aim was one of the first two Spirit-filled emcee’s I ever met along with his best friend and later brother-in-law John Fristperson I Porter. I knew about the artists on Uprok Records – a short-lived hip-hop label from the Tooth and Nail – and I knew about Syntax Records… CJ and John where making a name for themselves by working with artists like Odd Thomas and a bunch of his friends. CJ was making beats and producing this new wave of underground Spirit-filled hip-hop that was coming out of the west side of the world.
After I moved to Texas in 2005 I started seeing videos of CJ and John rapping at a coffee house named Java Jazz. CJ and John had assembled a hip-hop crew called Cerebral Arts with a bunch of local hip-hop artists out of our home town of Yuma, Arizona. CJ and Jon helped keep the underground music scene alive and still do to this day by having open mic night at the Dunes Restaurant and Bar. For a about four years CJ and his crew ran a little venue outside of Yuma across the state lines in Winterhaven, California called Open Aired after the promotion company Cerebral Arts had started a few months back.
In 2007 I saw a video of my friend CJ on current news. A mini-documentary of him and his life-long battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Something I never knew he had till then. I saw him at my first Open Aired show and my first time back to Yuma in three years. I told him that I saw the video and how crazy it is to see him and his story. We hung out that night and talked about everything from hip-hop to the things God had been doing in our lives.
After I gave in and got a twitter account I started following CJ. He would post about how he had to go to Phoenix to the ER at least once a month it seemed like. Always asking for prayer and it seemed like he always came out swinging like a champion fighter. In February I finally got a facebook and after a few months of seeing the ups and downs I thought CJ would be hitting it big. A brand new hip-hop label and CJ is among the first of emcees to be announced. I was stoked for him, because he had worked hard for where he was. A few months after the label launched they came out with a compilation with CJ showing his skills on a couple of tracks.
It seemed over the last nine months CJ was having more problems then normal and all the visits … it seemed things were not getting better. I remember seeing a pic of CJ with his wife Jenna and CJ had a gas mask on to help him breath and keep the dust out of his lungs. It was taken at open aired just after one of his visits to the hospital. It seemed like this year was the best yet for him in hip-hop. Although the most trying time on him physically.
CJ always was positive about his life, and knew that the talents that God have him were used to the fullest. He was noted to be the best at what he did. CJ will be dearly missed but not forgotten. To hear his music or watch the documentary on his battle with CF go to the link below. You can also make donations to his family as well.