Who are Jam Master Jay's killers? All about the Run-DMC DJ

Kate Fowler August 19, 2020
Who are Jam Master Jay's killers? All about the Run-DMC DJ
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

18 years after his murder on October 20, 2002, Run-DMC’s DJ Jam Master Jay’s killers were finally charged yesterday, 17 August.

It was reported by The New York Times that a US District Court in Brooklyn charged Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr with murder while engaging in drug trafficking, in a 10 count indictment.

DJ Jam Master Jay was shot dead inside his Queens, New York, recording studios, after allegedly excluding his associates-turned-killers from an organised multi-state, narcotics deal. The New York Times further reported that Washington is currently in prison on counts of robbery. The killers are allegedly facing minimum sentences of 20 years, if convicted.

One of Jam Master Jay’s killers, Washington, was first associated with the murder in 2007, when he was involved in an unrelated robbery. However, the accusations didn’t lead anywhere, until now.

In 2018, Netflix released a documentary film on the unsolved murder case titled ‘ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?’.

Who was DJ Jam Master Jay?

Born Jason Mizell in 1965, Jam Master Jay was the DJ of iconic hip hop group Run-DMC, who were popular in the 1980s.

Mizell grew up in Queens, New York, and is said to have joined Run-DMC after befriending fellow members Joseph Simmons and Darryl McDaniels at Two-Fifths Park in the late 70s, where he used to DJ.

Photo by Getty Images

Who are Run-DMC

Run-DMC are most famous for their songs Walk This Way with Aerosmith and It’s Tricky.

As the first rap group to have a certified gold album, they pioneered the hip hop genre and were even awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. They were also the second hip hop artist group to appear in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

As some of the first rappers to proudly incorporate street style into their look, as opposed to the flashy style previously favoured by the industry, Run-DMC became known for their fashion. Often seen in Adidas trainers without the laces, a look apparently inspired by criminals in jail who weren’t allowed laces for safety reasons, they even wrote an iconic hit titled ‘My Adidas’.

Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Life after Run-DMC

Run-DMC’s last album was Down With The King, which came out in 1993, but they continued to tour as a group for a few years after that.

Mizell set up his own record label, Jam Master Jay Records, in 1989 and continued to mentor up-and-coming artists, such as 50 Cent and Onyx.

In fact, according to Entertainment Weekly in 2002, the police even speculated that the death of Jam Master Jay could have been because of his association with 50 Cent.

However, we now know this is not true, as Jam Master Jay’s real killers have finally been convicted.

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Kate is a fashion journalism graduate from London College of Fashion with an untouchable knowledge of pop culture. Her eye for the strange corners of the internet have resulted to huge-hitting articles while she has also written features for Vice. The solar system might make your world go round, but writing about the internet, music and celebrities has Kate in orbit.