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BREAKING: Men Found Guilty of Murder of Hip-Hip Icon Jam Master Jay! –

(Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)

After over 20 years it seems like justice has arrived in the hip-hop community. Two men were just found guilty of murder in the 2002 killing of Jam Master Jay, the trailblazing DJ of the groundbreaking hip-hop trio Run-DMC. The length of time to find the assailants in this case frustrated detectives and music fans alike.

Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, was fatally shot at a recording studio in Jamaica, Queens, On Wednesday, October 30, 2002, at 7:30 pm. Another person in the room, 25-year-old Uriel Rincon, was shot in the ankle and survived. Following Mizell’s death, several artists expressed their grief for the loss in the hip hop community and remembered him for his influence on music and the genre. Mizell was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York.

Ronald Washington, Jay’s childhood friend, and Karl Jordan Jr., Jay’s godson, were convicted of murder while engaged in narcotics trafficking and firearm-related murder.

A fight nearly broke out in the courtroom after the verdict was announced. “Y’all just killed some innocent people. Get me outta here,” Washington said as he got out of his seat. Jordan looked at his supporters and said “I love y’all.” Their supporters began shouting as both men were rushed out of the courtroom.

The federal jury first began deliberations in mid February 2024, but after a juror was dismissed and replaced by an alternate, they began deliberations anew on Monday at 1 p.m. In total, the jury deliberated for about 10 hours.

Carlis Thompson, Jay’s cousin, spoke outside court and lamented that many family members did not live to see this day.

“It’s definitely a long time coming. Justice delayed is not always justice denied,” he said. “Jason himself was an amazing talent. Life ended far, far too soon, and I’m just glad that justice was served.”

Jay first started playing at parks and later played at bars. He also began throwing small parties around the area. Once he got a pair of Technics 1200s, he improved rapidly, since he was able to practice at night with headphones on when he was supposed to be sleeping.

Jay then became a DJ because he “just wanted to be a part of the band”. Prior to joining Run-D.M.C., he played bass and drums in several garage bands. In 1982, he joined Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels just after they graduated from high school and agreed to DJ for them because he wanted to be part of the band. On Run-D.M.C’s album Raising Hell, Mizell played keyboards, bass, and live drums in addition to his turntable work. Mizell remained in his childhood neighborhood in Hollis, Queens his entire life.

In 1989, Mizell established Jam Master Jay Records. The label is most known for signing 50 Cent and Onyx. Jam Master Jay Records folded after he was murdered on October 30, 2002.

Mizell’s legacy includes the Scratch DJ Academy in Manhattan. Founded in 2002, the year of his death, the academy was created to “provide unparalleled education and access to the art form of the DJ and producer.”

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

This trial was a long time coming but it wasn’t until…

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