Remembering Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay

Ten years ago, Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay was gunned down in Queens, New York, and his death sent waves through the hip-hop community. The DJ was more than just a member of what Ice Cube called “Rolling Stones of the rap game,” from MTV:

For close to 20 years, Jam Master Jay, Run (Joseph Simmons) and DMC (Darryl McDaniels) have been touching the lives of multitudes of fans who include their peers and associates in the music industry. Their brash b-boy style introduced hip-hop to the MTV audience with classic clips such as “Rock Box,” “King of Rock” and “Walk This Way,” which also resuscitated Aerosmith’s careers.

“That’s Run-DMC’s mission,” DMC said in a 1988 interview. “Let everyone know this is music. It’s the most exciting form, the most educational, the most vivid and visual.”

It wasn’t just the swinging gold chains, the Adidas sneakers or the black jogging and leather suits. Fans fell in love with Run’s sheer audacity and charisma, DMC’s depth and strength and the Jam Master’s skills. His scratching and mixing exhibitions on songs such as “Jam Master Jay,” “Sucker MCs” and “Peter Piper” (which Missy Elliott uses a portion of on her latest single, “Work It”) were as influential on future turntablists as Run and DMC’s raps were on the MCs who followed in their footsteps.

Now, a decade later, Parlour remembers his legacy, our thoughts and prayers go to the icon’s family and friends.

 image via Andre Leroy Davis

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