JamMaster Jay
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Hollis Jam Master Jay Executed!

CNN- The DJ of the longtime rap group Run-DMC, was shot in the head and killed Wednesday night in a Queens recording studio.

Jam Master Jay, 37, was shot in the head Wednesday night around 7:30 p.m. in a Queens recording studio, according to police. Another man, Urieco Rinco, 25, was shot in the leg and taken to a hospital, police said. Investigators have found two .45-caliber shell casings,

but no clues to the motive. Witnesses described the shooter as a young black man in a white sweatsuit or sweatshirt. Police said two gunmen were buzzed in to the building, went up to the second-floor studio and shot Jam Master Jay once at close range. Fans of the group gathered outside the studio Wednesday night and through the day Thursday to pay their respects. (Gallery of reactions) "It's like one of the Beatles died," said fan Ronald Williams. "They were the pioneers of this game as we know it." (Full obituary)

Rap pioneers

Jam Master Jay was born January 21, 1965 as Jason Mizell in the middle-class Hollis neighborhood of Queens, New York, according to the group's Web site. He linked up with Run (Joseph Simmons) and DMC (Darryl McDaniels) -- also from Hollis -- scratching turntables for the two rappers who had just graduated from high school. A year later, in 1983, the group released their first single, "It's Like That." Known for their loose Adidas-brand shoes, all-black outfits, and thumping beats, the trio is credited with beginning the current trend of combining rap music and rock 'n' roll in their hit remake of Aerosmith's "Walk this Way" in 1986, teaming up with the band's lead singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry. Run-DMC was also the first rap group to be nominated for a Grammy, and the first rappers to have gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums. (Hip-hop world reacts to news of the shooting)

Group avoided feuds

Unlike other rap groups, Run-DMC avoided feuds with other rappers. Run is an ordained minister, DMC overcame alcoholism, and Jam Master Jay was a married father of three children. Any possible link between Jay's death and a rap war was dismissed by Russell Simmons, the founder of Def Jam records, Run-DMC's original label, and the brother of Joseph Simmons. "They represented everything good and positive about hip-hop," said Russell Simmons in a statement. "Before the media rushes to attribute this to East Coast - West Coast violence, they should examine Run-DMC's two decades of contributions and Jam Master Jay's personal character," he said. "This has nothing more to do with so-called East Coast-West Coast violence than the snipers in Washington did."


A Very Special Christmas - Christmas in Hollis

It was December 24th on Hollis Ave after dark
When I see a man chilling with his dog in the park
I approached very slowly with my heart full of fear
Looked at his dog, oh my God, an illin' reindeer
But then I was illin' because the man had a beard
And a bag full of goodies, 12 o'clock had neared
So I turned my head a second and the man had gone
But he must have dropped his wallet smack down on the lawn
I picket the wallet up then I took a pause
Took out the license and it cold said "Santa Claus"
A million dollars in it, cold hundreds of G's
Enough to buy a boat and matching car with ease
But I'd never steal from Santa, cause that ain't right
So I was going home to mail it back to him that night
But when I got home I bugged, cause under the tree
Was a letter from Santa and the dough's for me

It's Christmas time in Hollis Queens
Mom's cooking chicken and collard greens
Rice and stuffing, macaroni and cheese
And Santa put gifts under Christmas trees
Decorate the house with lights at night
Snow's on the ground, snow white so bright
In the fireplace is the yule log
Beneath the mistle toe as we drink egg nog
The rhymes that you hear are the rhymes of Darryl's
But each and every year we bust Chrsitmas carols
(Christmas melodies)

Rhymes so loud and proud you hear it
It's Christmas time and we got the spirit
Jack Frost chillin, the orchids out
And that's what Christmas is all about
The time is now, the place is here
And the whole wide world is filled with cheer

My name's D.M.C. with the mic in my hand
And I'm chilling and coolin' just like a snowman
So open your eyes, lend us an ear
We want to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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Last modified: May 01, 2008