Words by Ime Ekpo

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When will the family of Jason Mizell get their peace?

After 15 years of investigating, the New York Police Department has declared the murder case of RUN D.M.C.’s star DJ, Jam Master Jay as unresolved, thus becoming a cold case.


October 30th, 2002 will always be a day that is mixed with grief, reminiscing, and homage in the hip-hop community. It was the day Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell was brutally shot at his studio in Jamaica, Queens, on the left side of his head, birthing a fatally tragic outcome at the young age of 37. The shooter has yet to be held accountable. Until this present day, the people of his hometown, Hollis, Queens are still in high hopes for witnesses to come forward.

Some reports declare Jam Master Jay embraced one of the men prior to the shooting. One set of gunfire reportedly missed the Queens legend, but the second round of shots which stood at point-blank range struck the DJ, and the gunmen disappeared into thin air.

As a close friend of Jay, Jeremy “JL” Lam, who is also a partner in the most recent version of Jam Master Jay’s Queens studio, knows for a fact that despite NYPD’s inability to solve the case, the streets will always know the deal. “It’s not resolved to the legal eye, but the street always talks.”

Over the years, an abundance of speculations as to why Jam Master Jay has been targeted have been floating around. One which state a probable chance Jay was murdered on the reservations of money, and another due to his association with 50 Cent, who was signed to Mizell’s label Jam Master Jay Records.

His cousin, Ryan Thompson owns a strong belief about those who witnessed Jam Master Jay’s murder. According to Thompson, they will not come forward about the series of events out of the fear of being placed in jail as accomplices. Ronald “Tenad” Washington was named as an accomplice in April 2007 by federal prosecutors. Washington was never convicted despite court documents stating Washington, “pointed his gun at those present in the studio, ordered them to get on the ground and provided cover for his associate to shoot and kill Jason Mizell.”

Thompson wants his cousin to be remembered “for the music he created and his kindness.” Jam Master Jay’s sister, Bonita Jones tells how the family does not speak much about that fatal day, “We know it’s an anniversary but we don’t like to talk about it much anymore.”

Jam Master Jay is legendary for his iconic spins on RUN D.M.C. classics such as “King of Rock”, “It’s Tricky” and the Aerosmith remake of “Walk This Way. He is highly influential to the generation of DJs that followed his prime and is forever honored for his monumental work. Despite NYPD’s closure on the case, the hip-hop community is keen on gaining justice for the family of Jam Master Jay.