On this date in 2002, the illustrious DJ of the legendary Run-D.M.C., Jam Master Jay, was gunned down in a studio in his hometown of Hollis, Queens. He was 37 years old.
An unknown person fatally shot Mizell in a recording studio on Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica, Queens. The other person in the room, 25-year-old Urieco Rincon, was shot in the ankle but survived.
In 2003, Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, a convicted drug dealer and longtime friend of Murder Inc. heads Irv and Chris Gotti, was investigated for killing Mizell because the DJ defied an industry blacklist of then upcoming rapper 50 Cent that was imposed because of “Ghetto Qu’ran”, a song 50 Cent wrote about Queens drug kingpins, including McGriff’s drug history.
In April 2007, federal prosecutors named Ronald “Tenad” Washington as an accomplice in the murder. Washington also is a suspect in the 1995 murder of Randy “Stretch” Walker, a former close associate of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, who was also murdered. According to court papers filed by the prosecution, 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, however, he was never convicted and no new suspects have been named.
This murder remains unsolved, but former Hip Hop cop Derrick Parker says he knows who killed Jam Master Jay and the case will be solved in the near future.
This senseless killing was one of many unsolved murders in the Hip Hop community, which has been plagued by gun violence. Let’s hope that this somber moment in Hip Hop history will prompt our youth to put the guns down.