That DJ Made My Day

Jam Master Jay, 1965-2002

Would there be a Linkin Park or even a Ludacris if it weren't for Jay? Would kids be hounding their parents for sets of turntables in the same way the kids of the 1970s and '80s clamored for guitars? I don't think so. Run-DMC's music broke boundaries, expanded scopes and smashed down walls that had been in place since before any of them had been born. And it continues to do so to this day.

It's hard to imagine what would make someone walk into Jay's studio and shoot the man in the head. Was it a mistake? Was Jay into something that his public didn't know about? Did he screw someone's wife? Rip someone off? I can't imagine any of that. Jay was an artist, a family man and an inspiration. We can't be so naïve as to believe that only sick thugs kill or are killed. But I would like to think that such a shining star in what can be such a dark business would have been exempt from the bullshit that plagues this culture that sometimes seems as rife with murder and mayhem as it is with creativity and spirit.

Jam Master Jay left behind a wife, three children and a billion rap fanatics like myself who can only say, goddamn that DJ made my day.

Jam Master Jay, far right, was the first superstar DJ.
Jonathan Mannion
Jam Master Jay, far right, was the first superstar DJ.

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