Our continuing investigation into the still-unsolved murder of hip-hop pioneer Jam Master Jay brought us to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently. The forecast upon touchdown was cold and rainy, not terribly unlike the weather in Queens on that fateful night in October of 2002 when a bullet forever silenced the trailblazing DJ behind the legendary Run-DMC.
It was in Milwaukee that Jam Master Jay spent some of his final days. He came here to Brew City to visit Eric “Shake” James, one of his best friends and one of the only members of his inner circle who was not part of the hometown crew from Hollis, Queens.
Jay and “Shake” spent their days holed up in Shake’s home playing video games (“NFL2K” on SegaDreamcast was one of Jay’s faves) and their nights hitting local hot spots like the Velvet Room, where Jay would jump on the wheels and start spinning every chance he got, treating the local fans to some world-class scratching.
Shake gave us a guided tour, sharing with us a potentially explosive new piece of evidence that could shed light on a case that both local and federal investigators are still trying to solve some five and a half years on…
Led by Shake, we retraced the steps Jay took on his last visit here, stopping by first the Velvet Room and then some other favorite hangouts, including Kopp’s burger joint and Playmakers, Jay’s sneaker shop of choice. The day ended at Shake’s house, where he showed us a treasure trove of never before seen personal memorabilia from his time on the road with Jay and Run-DMC, including Jay’s last backstage pass, from the Aerosmith / Kid Rock tour.
Then Shake showed us something real.
“This is a piece of Jay,” Shake said, “I’ve never been able to turn it on,” he said, handing us the keepsake. “Maybe you can…”
To find out what new piece of evidence Shake shared with us — and intimate details of the last days of Jam Master Jay’s life — check back with MTVNews.com tomorrow.