NEW YORK — Many people who love Run-DMC will tell you that there would be no group without Jam Master Jay, and that the DJ was the backbone of the trio. On Wednesday morning Reverend Run told a room full of people just how indispensable Jason Mizell was: Without their slain friend, Run and DMC have decided to end their 19-year run rocking the microphone.
"The thing that I recognize is that we were just on tour with Aerosmith and Kid Rock and we can't perform anymore," Run said in the Majestic East Room at the Rihga Royal Hotel. "Nobody wants to see Run and DMC without Jay. Jay was definitely one third of the group. People might see us on television and be wondering if Jay was a significant part of the group. Yes, he was.
"We split this money three ways," Run continued with DMC nodding his head in agreement in the back. "We're not able to go back out in December with Kid Rock and Aerosmith, and that was a big break for us (see "Crazy Cryin' Cocky Cowboys: Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Run-DMC Rock Jersey"). We had an endorsement deal with Dr. Pepper, we can't make those commercials now. Run-DMC is officially retired. I can't get out onstage with a new DJ. Some rock bands can replace the drummer, but I don't know any other way but [to perform] with the three original members. We're retired, does anybody have a job out there?"
Run-DMC, Russell Simmons, P. Diddy, Chuck D, Doug E. Fresh, Foxy Brown, Juelez Santana, Andre Harrell, Spinderella, Busta Rhymes and BET's Big Tigga were those on hand to announce their unified efforts to not only aid Jam Master Jay's family, but to help bring his killers to justice and promote peace.
"As you know, the funeral was yesterday (see "Jam Master Jay Laid To Rest; Hip-Hop Legends, Fans Pay Tribute") and we didn't want to wait one day to deal forthrightly with making sure that the family of Jam Master Jay does not have any debt," Minister Benjamin Chavis said. "We're standing together in unity, taking our responsibility and we're also here today to announce our plans to launch a street campaign to keep the legacy of Jam Master Jay positive."
Russell Simmons announced a $50,000 contribution by LL Cool J and listed Dr. Dre, Eminem, Interscope Records, Murder Inc. Records, BET, The Source, XXL, Redman, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Kid Rock and Aerosmith as contributors to the effort. Besides paying for the Mizells' $250,000 house and college funds for Jay's three sons, $50,000 is also being set aside for a reward to be given to anyone who has information leading to the arrest of the killers.
"The legacy of Jam Master Jay has to continue and the history of Jam Master Jay has to be told," said a visibly distraught Ed Lover. "Everybody that's in the industry right now that's living well and living in mansions and driving nice cars and feeding their families, have to realize that if wasn't for Jay, none of us would be eating the way we're eating. That's why it's so important that his wife eats and his kids go to school and get that education."
Simmons praised the NYPD for their handling of the case and asked people in the community to step up and help the authorities with information. Chuck D called on rappers to be more responsible, not only with their music but in reaching out and speaking to the public.
"I don't live in penthouses, suites, $300 hotel rooms," Chuck D scolded. "I'm in the communities from here to across the Pacific and see people that only listen to and watch rappers. It's no reason for us to not be men and women. Yes, we do control the climate. Understand we have the ears of the people, we have to be men and women. I don't want to ruin the atmosphere, but Run, Jay and DMC made it possible for everybody."
"Rap is indifferent," chimed in Run, "it's about whose hands it is in. This shooting, this murder, has nothing to do with rap music. It has to do with an angry, sick mind."
One hundred thousand flyers will hit the streets on Wednesday to spread the word of the coalition's efforts. They will contain the words "The Positive Legacy of Hip-Hop, Jam Master Jay, Jan. 21, 1965-Oct. 30, 2002." Also listed on the flyer is information about where people can send donations to the family, and the police hotline number, 800-577-TIPS.
The Mizell family has said donations can be made to the Mizell Children's Fund, c/o Terri Corley-Mizell, P.O. Box 3497, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.
For full coverage of the Jam Master Jay case, see the Jam Master Jay Reports.