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-- by Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes and Sway Calloway

Just like that, DMC's life changed forever.

"I was at home," DMC remembered Wednesday, thinking back to the night of October 30, when he heard that one of his best friends, Jason Mizell, had been killed.

  Jam Master Jay Retrospective Photos
DMC and Jason, who was known to millions as Jam Master Jay, were to head from New York to Washington, D.C., the next morning to participate in the halftime festivities at a Washington Wizards game. DMC was packing for the trip when he got word of the shooting, but he didn't believe it.

"I turned the 10 o'clock news on and [saw] a special report: 'Rap pioneer Jason Mizell of rap group Run-DMC has been shot,' " he continued, almost still living in the moment. "They didn't say 'dead' yet, they said 'has been shot.' I'm like, 'Nah, that ain't true,' because we were going to D.C. the next morning. I didn't really think anything of it because back in '86 there was a rumor that JMJ had got shot and was killed, so I was like, 'Here we go again.' "

As he began to flip through the channels, more outlets began reporting Jay's slaying, but still DMC did not believe what he was hearing. Reality was not setting in. "I'm at the TV and they show the [recording] studio and people outside the studio, so I'm like, 'Oh, they [were saying Jay got shot] because it's Jay's studio. It's not gonna be Jay and it's gonna be all good.'"

After a few phone conversations with friends, the reality began to set in. Jam Master Jay had been shot and killed inside his studio. Run-DMC lost a brother and partner, a wife lost a husband, children lost a father, many lost a great friend, and the world lost another trailblazing icon.

DMC frantically gathered his family and rushed to Jay's 24/7 studio in Queens. There he saw distraught friends like Def Jam's Lyor Cohen and former "Yo! MTV Raps" co-host Ed Lover, but he knew beyond a shadow of doubt that Jay was gone when he saw Public Enemy's vocal frontman, Chuck D, crying.


NEXT: 50 Cent, the Rev. Run, DJ Lethal and Napoleon join DMC on solo album ...
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