Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell

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Jason William Mizell (January 21, 1965 – October 30, 2002), also known as Jam-Master Jay, was the DJ of the influential hip hop group Run-D.M.C. He helped define the sound of the band and the style of the black hats and Adidas shoes that became synonymous with their name. During the 1980s, Run-D.M.C. became the biggest hip-hop group and are credited with breaking hip-hop into mainstream music.He started DJing at the age of 13. He first started playing at parks and later played at bars.Once he got a pair of Technics 1200s he improved rapidly since he was able to practice at night with headphones on when he was supposed to be sleeping.

Mizell became a DJ because he “just wanted to be a part of the band”.Prior to joining Run-D.M.C. he played bass and drums in several garage bands. In 1982 he hooked up with Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels just after they graduated from high school and agreed to DJ for them because he wanted to be part of the band. On Run-D.M.C’s album Raising Hell, Mizell played keyboards, bass, and live drums in addition to his turntable work. Mizell remained in his childhood neighborhood in Hollis, Queens his entire life.

In 1989, Mizell established the label Jam Master Jay Records, which scored a success in 1993 with the band Onyx.He also connected Chuck D with Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin. After achieving relative prominence, Mizell was known to use the alias Jay Gambulos so as to avoid unwanted public attention.He is also related to the Mizell Brothers, a popular production team for Gary Bartz, Johnny “Hammond” Smith, and others.

In 2002, Mizell founded the ‘Scratch DJ Academy’ in Manhattan to “provide unparalleled education and access to the art form of the DJ and producer.

JMJ Foundation


The Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing funding and resources to support free public school music education programs. Terri Corley-Mizzell created the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music to continue Jay’s legacy of creativity, positivity and community support. The JMJ Foundation is committed to enriching the lives of inner city school students through the contribution of resources to enable, create and/or improve in-school or after school music programs.

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DJ Scratch Remembers Jay

Jam Master Jay Remembered by Protégé DJ Scratch
The longtime EPMD DJ shares stories of Run-D.M.C. DJ’s warmth and generosity

On this day in 2002, legendary Run-D.M.C. DJ Jam Master Jay was fatally shot inside a recording studio in Jamaica, Queens. While no suspects in the murder have been brought to justice, Jam Master Jay remains a towering and influential figure in hip hop.

The producer/DJ was known for his magnanimous spirit, and few got to see that more than DJ Scratch. Before his decades-long run with pioneering hip hop group EPMD, Scratch toured with Run-D.M.C. in 1988 on the Run’s House tour.

In the video above, the DJ recalls Jam Master Jay’s generosity upon finding out Scratch had no hotel and ate and showered at each venue. “When he found out I had no hotel and a baby on the way, he would always get double beds so I could sleep and he would let me call him every day on his hotel phone to see if my girl had the baby.”

Scratch also shows us his shrine to the DJ, complete with Jay’s trademark Adidas sneakers, hat and gold rope chain, underneath EPMD’s various gold and platinum records.

Jam Master Jay Transformed Hip-Hop

As today, 10/13/13 marks the untimely passing of Jam Master Jay, it’s only right to honor, reflect,and appreciate the barriers that the legendary DJ broke in hip-hop. As a member of the legendary group Run D.M.C, Jay assisted in crafting a guide to territories that were then unheard of. Not only was he one of the first hip-hop entities to appear on MTV but he was also the first in the genre to be nominated for a Grammy amongst a host of other things.

Check it out…

JMJ Scratch Academy


Run DMC by Glen Friedman


Run DMC DJ Headphones  |  $70.00


Rock the block with these exclusive RUN DMC DJ Headphones. With a comfortable, padded over-ear design, inline volume control and 1/8″ connection, you’ll be ready to rock a rhyme on time.

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