NEW YORK — DJ AM was resilient as both a person and a professional, Jay-Z recalled of the late DJ.
The Brooklyn rapper tapped AM last September to back him for a gig in Los Angeles to help christen the reopening of the Hollywood Palladium the following month. When word broke the very next day that AM — along with Travis Barker — were critically injured in a plane crash, though, the Blueprint superstar wasn't concerned about AM making the show anymore; he just wanted him to tend to his health.
The celebrity DJ, however, did everything in his power to make the date. Less than a month after surviving the crash, which took the lives of the four other passengers aboard, AM announced he would honor his commitment to Jay-Z. The DJ told People magazine at the time that the show with the iconic MC was "the biggest thing that's happened in my career."
His resolve definitely impressed Jay-Z, who was introduced to the DJ the day before his tragic plane crash.
"I met him the day before the plane crash," Jay told MTV News on Monday, days after AM was found dead in his New York apartment. "We were doing the concert, and he told me that he had to go down to South Carolina to do a show with Travis, and then we'd go and do our show.
"The plane crash happened, and I'm thinking, 'Let him recover. We'll talk about that some other time,' " Jay continued. "He called, like, 'Nah, man, I'm still ready to go.' I was shocked by that at first. He came, he had a bandage on his head, and he was ready to go. He was someone that really loved what he did. That's passion: to love what you do and still go forward."
The two impressed the crowd throughout their performance together. At one point, Jay ventured behind the turntables while AM hammed it up for the crowd. "Make some noise for DJ AM," Jay ordered the crowd.