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... Read More...
A few weeks back, you might remember we were invited to film inside Jam Master Jay's former studios in Jamaica, Queens, in New York. It was the first time cameras had ever been allowed into the Run-DMC DJ's onetime headquarters — the place where ultimately, Jam Master Jay was tragically shot dead on a cold and rainy night on October 30th, 2002.
When I agreed to do the shoot back in November, I did so with a vision to celebrate the life and legacy of JMJ, but also to bring this as-of-yet unsolved murder case back to the fore and to everyone's attention. At the time, I never knew how much of an impact this small three-minute piece, simply titled 'Jam Master Jay's Studio: An Exclusive Tour,' would have on not only the hip-hop community but on JMJ's family and friends as well.
On the five-year anniversary of the death of Jam Master Jay, the still unsolved murder case was in danger of becoming a cold case (much like the murder cases of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G) with authorities blaming a lack of co-operation from the Queens community, but more importantly the actual witnesses who were present in the studio when JMJ was shot. Read More...
RIP Jam Master Jay (January 21, 1965 - October 30, 2002)
On October 30, it will have been a whole five years since Jam Master Jay was tragically shot dead at his recording studio in Queens, New York. It doesn't seem like that long ago.
One third of the pioneering rap group Run DMC, Jam Master Jay (born Jason Mizell) was one of the most respected and by most accounts one of the most-liked men in hip-hop. On the night before Halloween 2002, 37-year old Jason Mizell was at his recording studio in Queens, New York, when, according to some reports, two men were buzzed inside. Jay reportedly hugged one of the men, but moments later, guns were pulled and Jay was dead. Five years later, a substantial reward and an ongoing investigation have not yet brought Jay's killers to justice.
This week I headed down to that very studio with my MTV News family — Rahman, Bernard, Nick and Shaheem — to be the first cameras ever allowed into the former JMJ studios since his death.