ReMastered season 1, episode 3 recap: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?


Episode 3 of Netflix series ReMastered looks at the 2002 murder of Jason William Mizell, or Jam Master Jay. The mystery remains.

In the 1980s, many people idolized Jam Master Jay, of pioneering hip-hop group Run-DMC. Known as a peacemaker and respected for his DJ’ing and production skills, many were shocked when Jay was murdered in his studio in the Jamaica district of Queens, New York City. How much progress has been made?

Among those interviewed in the documentary:

  • Rahman Dukes of MTV
  • Joseph “Run” Simmons (the “Run” in Run-DMC)
  • Darryl McDaniels (the “D.M.C.” in Run-DMC)
  • Connie Mizell Perry, Jam Master Jay’s mother
  • David Seabrook, a pal from Hollis, Queens
  • Marvin Thompson, Jay’s brother
  • Bonita Jones, Jay’s sister
  • DJ Hurricane

Who Jam Master Jay was

In addition to being an influential DJ, he was considered a focal point to his community in Hollis, Queens, NY. According to Joseph “Run” Simmons, you wouldn’t get robbed if Jay was around.

He was rapping before rap was a thing, made DJs more important, helped make hip-hop artists into superstars and bridged the gap between rock and rap early on. Also, RUN-DMC were considered “happy rappers,” which eventually made them clash with gangsta rap.

The murder

Though Run-DMC started fading in 1988, Jay wasn’t done with music. He is said to have discovered 50 Cent — considered a giant in the modern rap world. In fact, some speculate Jay’s relationship with 50 Cent may have cost his life. The assassination was itself brazen, occurring in Jay’s studio, which is across the street from a police station.

Randy Allen, Jay’s longtime friend, and Mke B were in the control room at the time. Also, witness, Tony Rincon was around playing video games. Seemingly out of nowhere, two armed and masked men entered, ordering studio manager Trini Washington to the ground at gunpoint, the proceeding to commit the murder.

Curiously, someone replaced the security camera tape afterward, suggesting Jay must have known the killers.


Some speculate Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff —  an associate of Murder Inc. Records — had something to do with the shooting. Rapper 50 Cent went after Murder Inc. Records lyrically, and someone may have gone after Jam Master Jay (although McGriff steadfastly denies any involvement).

It’s not the only theory, though. Though Jam Master Jay wasn’t known as a drug dealer, his debt problems were a matter of public record (being discussed in the press). Because of this, some allege drug involvement in the murder.

One thing is established: McGriff was imprisoned for life in 2007, on unrelated charges of murder conspiracy and drug trafficking.

Some suspects for the shooting have been dismissed, either because they were too close to Jay or (in the case of Curtis Scoon) because they didn’t match witness descriptions.

According to ReMastered, Randy Allen and Jay shared life insurance. However, he was Jay’s best man at his wedding, and they had million dollar record deals.

Why would either of them bother to steal from the other? ReMastered and Billboard magazine mention robber Ronald “Tinard” Washington as a possible accomplice to the crime. However, the matter has not been followed up on, and the case remains on the cold side.

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The fact is, ReMastered provides no answers, but it reminds us that this is a story.

What are your thoughts on this ReMastered episode and the death of Jam Master Jay? Let us know in the comments!