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Member of Pioneer Rap Group Run DMC Is Slain

October 31, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Jam Master Jay, part of the pioneering rap trio Run DMC, was shot and killed Wednesday, the group's publicist said.

Publicist Tracy Miller confirmed the death of the 37-year-old disc jockey, whose real name was Jason Mizell.

He was shot once in the head and was dead at the scene, said police Det. Robert Price. He said the shooter remained at large and police had no information on a motive.

A second man, identified by police as 25-year-old Urieco Rincon, was shot in the leg and was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital. The hospital did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Run DMC is widely credited with helping bring hip-hop into music's mainstream, including the group's smash collaboration with Aerosmith on the 1980s standard "Walk This Way."

"We always knew rap was for everyone," Mizell said in a 2001 interview with MTV. "Anyone could rap over all kinds of music."

"It wasn't the soulful R&B of the '70s and '80s," he said of the group's early work. "So we didn't want to be like the soft R&B. We wanted to go hard-core, so we put the rock 'n' roll on our rap."

Mizell served as the group's disc jockey, providing background for singers Joseph Simmons, better known as DJ Run, and Darryl McDaniels, better known as DMC.

Mizell was married and had three children, Miller said.

"He was a great producer, a hard worker," he said. "He's a family man."

Dozens of fans gathered on the outskirts of the crime scene in Queens, where the members of Run DMC grew up.

"They're the best. They're the pioneers in hip-hop," said fan Arlene Clark, 39.

Another fan who lives nearby, Leslie Bell, 33, said Run DMC often let local musicians record for free at their studio.

"That was their decision, to stay here and give back to the community," Bell said. "He is one great man. The good always die young. He's the good guy."

The trio released a greatest-hits album earlier this year. In 2001, the rappers produced "Crown Royal," breaking an eight-year silence.

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