NEW YORK — Two hip-hop icons were honored Friday night at the Skylight club: Jam Master Jay and Adidas.
Nas, Fat Joe, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Q-Tip, Public Enemy and DMC were among those on hand for a fund-raiser gala that celebrated the Jam Master himself as well as the 35th anniversary of his group's favorite kicks.
"Jam Master Jay is my man, and Queens is my borough," Nas said of the late DJ, who was slain in his Queens studio in October 2002 (see "Jam Master Jay, Run-DMC DJ, Killed In Shooting"). "It's important we come out and show love to the foundation and the community work that's being put together through Adidas and the Jam Master Jay Foundation."
"We came together for this to really pay homage," said Layzie Bone, flanked by his entire group. "It really means a lot to us because we came up on Run-DMC. We really loved these guys, and Jam Master Jay taught us some things and talked to us. It really meant a lot to be here."
"Run-DMC were one of the most powerful impacts on my childhood, 'cause they took a culture and made it worldwide and showed me the possibilities of something I liked," offered video director Dave Meyers (Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson). "They were some cool guys doing cool sh--. I was a kid who was very influenced by their creative flow and the choices they made."
Many of the artists noted that not only were they influenced by the music of Jam Master Jay (born Jason Mizell), but as they became prominent in the industry, Jay reached out to them personally.
"Jam Master was a mentor, an idol to me, a good brother," Fat Joe remembered. "Every time I seen him, he was like, 'Yo, Joe, you gotta get outta the Bronx. You gotta get out of New York. You gotta sell some records somewhere else. There's a whole world out there, go sell some records somewhere else.' "
"Everyone coming to support just shows me all the love and effect Jason had," Jam Master Jay's widow, Terri Corley-Mizell, said. "It's about honoring his legacy and life. Everyone here had love for Jason, which means a lot for me."
The Adidas sneaker was shown love as well: 35 types of special Adidas were on display, including the Missy Elliott shoe, the Bad Boy shoe, the Roc-A-Fella 10th anniversary sneaker and a Disney sneaker with a picture of Goofy on it.
"Adidas gotta show love," DMC said. "We took that shell-toe sneaker around the world. We stepped onstage at Live Aid, the people gave and the poor got paid. Adidas is more than a sneaker on my feet, it represents what hip-hop is about."
Some of the proceeds from the event went to the Jam Master Jay Foundation, which supports music programs in inner-city schools. DMC, Bone Thugs and Public Enemy were among the performers who hit the stage at the shindig.