Jam Master JayJason Mizell (January 21, 1965 - October 30, 2002), better known as Jam Master Jay, was the founder and DJ of Run-DMC, a highly influential hip-hop group, based in the Queens district of New York. Mizell and the other two members of Run-DMC, the MCs Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, and Joseph "DJ Run" Simmons, were natives of the middle-class black neighborhood of Hollis, Queens.
In the Run-DMC songs "Jam Master Jay", "Peter Piper", and "Daryl and Joe" herald Jay's skills.
Run-DMC's signature look of black sweatsuits and leather, with black-striped Adidas sneakers, was modeled after JMJ's personal clothing style.
In 1989, Mizell established the label Jam Master Jay Records, which scored a strong success in 1993 with the band Onyx-(band). He also connected Chuck D with Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin. (Def Jam's other founder, Russell Simmons, is the brother of DJ Run.)
In the 1990s, Mizell suffered the effects of a bad car accident and a gunshot, mirroring similarly tough times for DJ Run (rape charge) and DMC (alcohol abuse).
In the late 1990s the band reformed, recording "Crown Royal" and touring with Aerosmith.
Mizell remained in his childhood neighborhood his entire life. He founded the Scratch DJ Academy in Manhattan for children interested in DJing.
Mizell was shot in the head and killed in a Merrick Boulevard recording studio in Queens at 7:30 pm on October 30, 2002. The other person in the room, 25-year-old Urieco Rincon, was shot in the ankle.
Mizell was survived by his wife Terri and three children.
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