Update: Jam Master Jay Killed In NYC Shooting
As previously reported, Jam Master Jay, a founding member of the pioneering rap trio Run-D.M.C., was shot and killed last night (Oct. 30) at his recording studio in the Jamaica section of Queens, nearAs previously reported, Jam Master Jay, a founding member of the pioneering rap trio Run-D.M.C., was shot and killed last night (Oct. 30) at his recording studio in the Jamaica section of Queens, near the New York neighborhood where he grew up. Two men were buzzed into the second-floor studio shortly before shots were fired at 7:30 p.m., police said. As of early this morning, no arrests had yet been made.
The 37-year-old disc jockey, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was shot once in the head in the studio's lounge and died at the scene, said Detective Robert Price, a police spokesperson. Urieco Rincon, 25, who is not a member of Run-D.M.C., was shot in the leg, police said. About five other people in the studio at the time were not hurt.
"Rest In Peace Jam Master," Run-D.M.C.'s official Web site reads, underneath a picture of Mizell. The site also features a tribute page for fans to post their thoughts in the wake of the tragedy.
Mizell served as the platinum-selling group's DJ, providing background for singers Joseph Simmons, better known as Run, and Darryl McDaniels, better known as D.M.C. The group is widely credited with helping bring hip-hop into the mainstream, thanks to a smash collaboration with Aerosmith on the 1980s standard "Walk This Way," and earlier hits "My Adidas" and "It's Tricky."
Mizell's friends and fans gathered near the studio, located above a restaurant and a check-cashing business. The crowd included many people from the Hollis section of Queens, where the members of Run DMC grew up. "They're the best. They're the pioneers in hip-hop," said Arlene Clark, 39, who grew up in the same neighborhood. "They took it to the highest level it could go."
Chuck D, the founder of the hip-hop group Public Enemy, blamed record companies and the advertising industry for perpetuating "a climate of violence" in the rap industry. "When it comes to us, we're disposable commodities," he said. Doctor Dre, a New York radio station DJ who had been friends with Mizell since the mid-1980s, said, "This is not a person who went out looking for trouble... He's known as a person that builds, that creates and is trying to make the right things happen."
Leslie Bell, 33, said the band members often let local musicians record for free at the studio, and had remained in Queens to give back to the community. "He is one great man," said Bell. "As they say, the good always die young."
A spokesperson said Mizell and McDaniels had planned to perform in Washington, D.C., tonight at a Washington Wizards basketball game. Mizell had performed on Tuesday in Alabama, she said. Mizell was married and had three children, according to the spokesperson.
Earlier this year, Run-D.M.C. released its "Greatest Hits" album via Arista. The set debuted at No. 56 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Last year, the act produced "Crown Royal," breaking an eight-year studio silence. That set debuted at No. 22 on the tally.
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