J-a-y are the letters of his name
Cutting and scratching are the aspects of his game
So check out the Master as he cuts these jams
And look at us with the mics in our hands
Then take a count, 1 2 3
Jam Master Jay, Run-D.M.C.
Sunday, October 30th marks the eighth anniversary (for lack of a better word) of the untimely demised of hip-hop icon and legendary DJ, Jam Master Jay. JMJ, born Jason Mizell, one-third of the highly influential hip-hop group RUN DMC, was shot in the head and died instantly Wednesday, October 30, 2002 approximately at 7:30pm in his recording studio on Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica, Queens. To this day despite several reports of possible suspects and leads, his execution style murder has never been solved.
The New York Daily News have reported that authorities are investigating whether Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff targeted slain RUN DMC member Jam Master Jay for death because the deejay defied an industry “blacklist” of 50 Cent that was imposed due to a song written by 50 about McGriff’s drug history. The affidavit says, “Law enforcement agents are investigating the possibility that [Jason] Mizell for deying a blacklist of 50 cent.
In 2007 it was reported again by The New York Daily News, that Ronald Washington was named as a person of interest in the death of Jay At the time Washington who had denied any involvement in Jay’s death was on trial for another crime, robbery. No formal charges were ever brought up on Washington. The fact of the matter is the case is still unsolved like the murder of two other hip-hop superstars, Biggie and Tupac. I will keep you informed on the on-going investigation of his death, if anything developes, but the point of this article is to celebrate his life.
Behind the turntables is where he stands
Then there is the movement of his hands
So when asked who’s the best, y’all should say:
“Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay”
Today we remember hip hop legendary DJ, Jam Master Jay, one of the nicest to ever touch the tables, and his importance in hip hop. For the one of the Kings of Queens, the stage was his kingdom and the wheels-of-steel was his throne where he reigned supreme. Just one listen to The Run-DMC songs “Jam Master Jay”, “Peter Piper”, and “Daryl and Joe” and Jay’s skills on the one’s and two’s can’t be denied. What many may not know about Jay played bass guitar and drums in several bands prior to joining Run-DMC. On all of their albums from “Raising Hell” on, he has played keyboards, bass, and live drums in addition to the work he put in on the turntable.
He’s Jam Master Jay, the big beat blaster
He gets better cause he knows he has to
In ’84 he’ll be a little faster
And only practice makes a real Jam Master
When many rap artists in an effort to cut cost came on stages performing to DAT tapes, when DJs would stand behind turntables as that were unplugged fakin’ the funk, one thing you could always count on is when you went to a RUN DMC show, Jay’s tables were not just mere props. He dictated the bassdrop and controlled the flow of the show with his Technics 1200’s, the way a conductor directs an orchestra with his wand.
In addition to a long list of first, like first hip hop group on MTV, RUN DMC were one of the first big hip-hop groups that didn’t put on outfits to perform. They wore what we wore in the streets on stage. It forever changed how groups dressed on stage. RUN DMC’s signature look of black sweat suits and leather, with black-striped Addias sneakers, was modeled after JMJ’s regular everyday street attire.
The Kings From Queens were also the first non sports figures to get a endorsement deal from a sneaker company. They had a nation of millions wearing the shell toed sneakers with no shoe laces. They ended up getting a $2 million dollar endorsement deal when an Addias rep was in the crowd and saw the incredible influence they had.
Jay put many people on, like Onyx, The Afros and 50 Cents and DJs like DJ Scratch of EPMD just to name as few. “I opened for RUN DMC’s “Run’s House World Tour” when I was 19 years old. JMJ took me under his wing & taught me & converted me from a raw battle DJ to an all around showman,” DJ Scratch says remembering his mentor on www.IndustryCosign.com.
“During this time, I had a baby on the way, while I was on the tour… The company that sent me out there had little to no budget so I basically was paying my dues. I never had a hotel room so I had to wash & eat at the venues. I went from country to country via tour bus, so that’s where I got my sleep. I never complained because I was living my dream. I’m going to all of the countries I’ve read about in school by way of DJing which was unbelievable in itself.”
There is so much more I could say about ya favorite DJ’s favorite DJ but due to space limitations I will close with a verse from Peter Piper…
Jam Master Jay king of the crossfader
He’s the better of the best
best believe he’s the baddest
Perfect timin when I’m climbin I’m a rhymin apparatus
Lot of guts When he cuts
Girls move their butts
His name is Jay hear the play he must be nuts
And on the mix real quick and I’d like to say
He’s not Flash but he’s fast and his name is Jay
Jay’s like King Midas as I was told
Everything that he touched turned to gold
He’s the greatest of the greater get it straight
He’s great Playing fame cause his name is known in every state
His name is Jay To see him play Will make you say
damn that DJ made my day
Source: DJ Premier, Kid Capri, Grand Master Flash, DJ Jazzy Jeff – Tribute To Jam Master Jay