The Dark Side of Jam Master Jay: How the Legendary DJ Got Involved in the Cocaine Trade

Jam Master Jay’s life and death.

Jam Master Jay, the DJ of the groundbreaking hip hop group Run-DMC, was one of the most influential figures in the history of rap music. He helped pioneer the use of turntables as musical instruments, and along with his partners DMC and Rev Run, he brought hip hop to the mainstream with hits like "Walk This Way", "It's Tricky", and "My Adidas".

But behind the scenes, Jay had a secret life that involved drugs, violence, and betrayal. He was allegedly involved in the cocaine trade, and his involvement led to his fatal shooting in 2002 in his Queens studio. His murder case remained unsolved for nearly two decades, until two men, Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington, were arrested and charged in 2020.

The trial, which came to a close in February 2024, revealed startling details about Jay's double life and the circumstances surrounding his death. Here are some of the key facts that emerged from the testimony of witnesses and experts.

Jay was a "smaller player" in the cocaine trade

According to Ralph Mullgrav, a convicted drug dealer who testified in the trial, Jay was not a major player in the drug trade, but he used it to "make ends meet" when his musical career slowed down. Mullgrav claimed that he sold Jay "maybe 1 or 2 kilos, here or there" of cocaine⁴. Mullgrav also said that Jay sought to move a large quantity of cocaine, involving Washington, another defendant, in the deal.

Jay's death was a revenge killing over a drug deal gone awry

Prosecutors alleged that Jay's death was a result of a dispute over a drug deal that went wrong in Baltimore. They claimed that Jay had received 10 kilos of cocaine on consignment from a supplier, but he was unable to sell them because the drugs were of poor quality. Jay then returned the drugs to the supplier, but the supplier demanded that Jay pay him $200,000 for the loss. Jay refused to pay, and the supplier hired Jordan and Washington to kill him.

Jay knew his killers and welcomed them into his studio

One of the most shocking aspects of the trial was the testimony of Lydia High, a lifelong friend of Jay who visited his studio on the night of his murder. High said that she saw Jay smile and hug one of his killers, Jordan, who was also Jay's godson and a former intern at his label. High said that Jay invited Jordan and Washington into his studio, unaware of their intentions. She then heard two gunshots and saw Jay fall to the floor. She also saw another man, Uriel "Tony" Rincon, who was also shot in the leg by Jordan. Rincon identified Jordan as the shooter by his distinctive "Golden Child" neck tattoo.

Jay's legacy lives on despite the tragedy

Despite the dark revelations of the trial, Jay's fans and family still remember him as a musical icon and a positive force in the hip hop community. His widow, Terri Corley-Mizell, said that she was relieved that justice was finally served, but she also expressed her sadness and disbelief that Jay's godson was involved in his murder. She said that Jay loved Jordan and treated him like family. She also said that Jay was a generous and kind person who helped many people in the industry and in his neighborhood.

Jay's legacy also lives on through his music, which continues to inspire and influence generations of artists and fans. His group, Run-DMC, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, and they received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Jay's son, TJ Mizell, followed in his father's footsteps and became a DJ and a producer. He also starred in a reality show called "Growing Up Hip Hop", where he paid tribute to his father and his legacy.

Jam Master Jay was a legend who left an indelible mark on the culture and the world. His murder was a tragic loss that shocked and saddened many. His trial was a long-awaited closure that exposed his double life and the motives of his killers. But his story is also a reminder of the complexity and humanity of a man who was more than just a DJ. 

He was a father, a friend, a mentor, and a pioneer. He was Jam Master Jay.

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(1) Drug Dealer Claims Jam Master Jay Sold Cocaine - EURweb.
(2) Trial around legendary musician's killing reveals his double life.
(3) Testimony Reveals Startling Details in Jam Master Jay Murder Trial ....
(4) Trial around legendary musician’s killing reveals his double life - MSN.

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