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Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 14:14 GMT
Run-DMC rapper shot dead
Jam Master Jay, Darryl (DMC) McDaniels, centre, and Joseph (Run) Simmons
Jam Master Jay (L) was the DJ for singers Run and DMC
A member of the pioneering American rap group, Run-DMC, has been shot dead in New York.

Jam Master Jay - whose real name was Jason Mizell - was killed at a recording studio in the Queens district, police said. A second person was injured by two gunmen.


He is one great man - the good always die young. He's the good guy

Leslie Bell, fan

Run-DMC are widely credited with bringing hip-hop music to a mass audience in the 1980s.

Their smash-hit collaboration with Aerosmith, Walk This Way, helped them become the first rap act to enter the US top 10, and the first to have a video screened on the music channel, MTV.

Police said two men were let into the second-floor studio in the Queens district of New York shortly before two shots were fired.

Mizzel was shot in the head and died at the scene.

Motive a mystery

A second man, 25-year-old Urieco Rincon, was shot in the leg and was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital.

About five other people in the studio were unharmed by the gunmen, who fled the shooting just after 1930 (0030 GMT) on Wednesday.

Police spokesman Detective Robert Price said there was no obvious motive for the shooting.

As news of the killing spread, scores of fans gathered outside the studio.

Public Enemy rapper Chuck D told the New York Times: "These are our Beatles."

"I'm trying to tell myself this isn't true," said rap executive Lyor Cohen, who gave Run-DMC one of its first big breaks.

"They are the best. They are the pioneers in hip-hop," said fan Arlene Clark, 39.

Rapper DMC outside the studio
The killing has shocked fans and other performers
Another fan, Leslie Bell, 33, said the band often let local musicians record for free at their studio.

Scratch master

"That was their decision, to stay here and give back to the community," she said.

"He is one great man - the good always die young. He's the good guy."

Mizell had been working as a music producer when he joined fellow group members Run (Joseph Simmons), and DMC (Darryl McDaniels) in 1983 to cut their first hit, It's Like That.

Mizell became famous for scratching records while his two partners sang.

The trio's publicist, Tracy Miller, said that Mizell - who was married with three children - and McDaniels had been planning to perform in Washington DC on Thursday at a basketball game.

"He was a great producer, a hard worker," she told The Associated Press. "He was a family man."

Comeback failed

The trio's 1985 release, Raising Hell, became the first rap album to go platinum.

They had dropped out of the limelight by 1990, and their album, Crown Royal, released last year failed to earn them the comeback they were seeking.

They released a greatest-hits album earlier this year.

The hip-hop world has been shaken before by the violent deaths of famous performers, such as Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.

In 1986, Run-DMC spoke out against the rise of gang violence in the Los Angeles area. They called for a day of peace between warring street gangs.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC media correspondent Nick Higham
"Run DMC were pioneers of rap"


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