The last music created by Jam Master Jay will be released in March, when Rusty Waters’ debut LP hits stores.
The duo was one of the groups the influential DJ/producer had taken under his wing via his production company, Hot Ta Def. He was working on their album the day he was killed (see “Jam Master Jay’s Last Days Were Spent Focused On The ‘Hood” ).
Rusty Waters, which consists of Jay’s longtime friend MDR and his nephew Boe Skagz, will drop their debut LP on March 11, according to Virgin Records.
“I knew Jay forever, for as long as I could remember,” MDR said recently. “We are all homies, but Jay was like the head homey of the whole thing. He was my best friend. Everything I got, I got from him as far as music, religion and business.”
“He was serious with the business. He stayed on top of our rhymes and music,” Skagz added before remembering JMJ’s lighter side. “He was a super-duper video game head. He’d play the PlayStation three days straight. He was a joker. We always laughed with Jay. He played ball. He did everything. Jam Master Jay was more than my uncle, he was like my pops.”
Along with the rest of Hot Ta Def’s in-house producers, Jay fathered many of the beats on the album, including the duo’s first single, “Cornbread,” their likely second single, “Nasty,” and “City to City.”
“This album is not your typical sound you’re used to hearing from Jay,” Hot Ta Def CEO Garnet Reid said, explaining that the man who found Onyx and Jayo Felony dabbled with a Southern sound on the Rusty Waters LP.
“We got a song on our album that Jam Master Jay did himself with his kids, and it’s a song we made for September 11,” MDR disclosed. “It’s a song that he loved. It’s a song we dedicated to him. … The name of the song is ‘We the World.’ Meaning this whole rap thing and everybody in it. When the kids hear us, we do influence the kids of the world today. That makes us a big part of what the world is doing.”
MDR and Skagz said their album won’t follow the trend of packing in guest stars on almost every track. They did reach out to Pastor Troy for a cut called “Dip Shorty,” though, and they’ve been in talks with members of the Cash Money camp for a collaboration.
Keeping the JMJ and Run DMC legacy alive for the next generation, they also have a song called “Talk About It” with the Rev. Run’s nephew, new jack Chris Classic.
“We just doing what Jay wanted us to do,” said MDR, who revealed that Jay left behind more than 100 unreleased beats. “Jam Master Jay left Hot Ta Def with a lot to do. Our goal in life to make sure whatever he put in us to do, we do it. Jam Master Jay had this sick vision that a lot of people in the world didn’t see ’til a day after he had it.”
It was Jay who put the group together and it was also the Jam Master who conceived the group’s name.
“We drink a lot of Hennessy,” Skagz began to explain. ” ‘Rusty water’ is [slang for] Hennessy. When I lived down South with my grandmother for a few years, when you turn on the faucet in your home, rusty water comes out, so you have to wait a few minutes before you can take a shower. Hennessy is the same color of the rusty water.”
Besides Rusty Waters, Reid said he’s grooming a handful of other artists Jay (born Jason Mizell) signed before he died on October 30 (see “Jam Master Jay, Run-DMC DJ, Killed In Shooting” ).
Police are investigating the slaying and have yet to name a suspect or make any arrests. Two awards have been ponied up for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of his killers. Anyone with information can call the 103rd Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 657-8822 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. They can also contact the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council at (718) 264-9092.
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, check out the Jam Master Jay Reports.