The loss of a friend or family member leaves deep wounds in any family and to the family known as Hollis Queens, no wound cuts deeper than the loss of our brother, friend and mentor Jason Mizell known to the world as “Jam Master Jay”.
It was 11-years ago today on Oct 30th 2002, that our brother was murdered inside his studio in Jamaica Queens NY and taken from us. Jay was much more than somebody that made records to us. He was our relative and his loss struck a huge blow to the Hollis Community. I personally knew Jay and his family ever since I was a young kid because he grew up with my older brothers so I always saw him as a big bro. We saw Jay in a much more personal way than the rest of the world did. This was the guy that held bbp’s at his sisters Nita’s house on 203rd St. every year and the entire hood was there. This was the guy that when you needed advice he gave it. This was the guy that would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. This was the guy that if it weren’t for him there may have never even been a Run DMC. Jam Master Jay was more important to us than what the rest of the world saw him as. He was the glue that held our hood together.
Nobody knew Jay like we did. We knew the Jay that was before the stardom. To this day Hollis Queens has not been the same since his loss. Nobody was more influencial than Jay in our hood, not even Russel Simmons holds as much importance to us than he did. Jay was the man and we all respected and loved him for it. If you were to speak to the original Hollis Crew members like Davey D, Smith, Butta Love, DMC, Kenny Bang, Kool T, Hurricane and others, Orville Hall, Jay’s brother and sister Marvin & Nita, nephew Boe Skagz or son JMJ’son, they will tell you stories of a Jam Master Jay that you can’t read in magazines, can’t fully grasp from documentaries, would never know from records. You really had to be from Hollis and know Jay to fully understand who he really was and why he was so important to us.
I remember when I was young and they had the Fresh Fest concerts, Jay was the one that paid to have charter bus’ bring anybody from the neighborhood that could get on them to the shows for free. If you were from Hollis you didn’t need a ticket, all you had to do was get on those bus’ and you were in the show for free. That was the kind of person Jam Master Jay was. Nobody and I mean nobody was more for our community or did more as an individual than Jay. He was so important that it was because of him and what he meant to Hollis that the corner of 205th & Hollis Ave was officially renamed “Run DMC JMJ Way” where there stands a mural painted in his honor. This is the city that Jay built and we are more than proud to have known him the way we did.
To the world the name Jam Master Jay is held in high esteem as a hip-hop icon and pioneer but to the Hollis Queens community his name represents much more than that. It represents the heart and soul of who we are. We miss you Jay. Fly In Paradise Big Bro!!!