It’s been nearly 16 years since the tragic death of Run-DMC’s iconic DJ Jam Master Jay. His case remains cold, but Netflix is using the latest installment of its ReMastered series to explore the mysterious 2002 shooting. Watch a trailer for the documentary above.
Run-DMC is responsible for breaking new school hip-hop to a mainstream audience, with bangers like “Sucker MCs” and “It’s Like That.” Their single “Rock Box” was the very first rap video to appear nationwide on MTV’s video playlist, and the kings from Queens captured audiences not only through their music but also through their signature black hats and Adidas sneakers.
Jam Master Jay, whose real name is Jason Mizell, hugely influenced the group’s style and sound. Mizell was a musician since his childhood, learning how to play a number of instruments and joining a few bands before becoming a part of the Run-DMC crew with Joseph Simmons and Darryl McDaniels. They later became the first rap act to receive a Grammy nomination, get platinum records, and appear on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Jay remains an icon because of his style and beats and for launching careers for artists like 50 Cent. But his untimely death at the age of 37 continues to cast a shadow over his legacy. At his recording studio in Queens on Oct. 30, 2002, Mizell was shot and killed. 15 years later, New York City police detectives conceded the case had gone cold.
This new Netflix documentary addresses some of the facts and rumors of his murder. Did Jay’s death involved 50 Cent’s ongoing feuds? Was it an inside job? ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay? hits the streaming service on Dec. 7.