Hustlers, grifters and greed: How Jam Master Jay met his tragic end

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Last week, 2 men from Mizell’s aged vicinity were convicted successful nan slaying aft a proceedings that laid bare nan difficult predicament he recovered himself successful anterior to nan murder.

With Run-DMC’s fame fading, ample paydays became much elusive for Mizell, who was known for showering rate connected his family, friends and moreover acquaintances from his aged haunts successful Hollis, Queens. So he leveraged his aged contacts from nan vicinity to transportation retired supplier deals, according to courtroom testimony, a determination that yet led to his killing.

For immoderate of those who had known Mizell nan longest, nan convictions were bittersweet. In nan days since nan trial, they person wondered really otherwise his life could person played retired had he managed to time off down nan hustlers and hangers-on from his past.

“That was my cousin’s downfall,” said Ryan “Doc” Thompson, who grew up pinch Mizell and was among his closest confidants. “It was conscionable excessively precocious to lavation his hands of these people.”

Wendell Fite, a puerility friend of Mizell’s amended known by his shape sanction DJ Hurricane, offered a akin take.

“Jay was nan benignant of personification who thought he could thief anybody nary matter who that personification was,” he said. “Jay ever had a large heart, which is why he’s not present today, because he surrounded himself pinch nan incorrect people.”

Family ties

Mizell grew up connected 203rd Street, 1 of 3 siblings whose mother was a schoolteacher and begetter was a societal worker. As a kid, Mizell didn’t person to spell acold to sojourn 1 of his closest friends, a boy who came to beryllium known arsenic Darren “Big D” Jordan.

“He lived straight crossed nan street,” Ryan Thompson said.

The 2 went measurement back. Their mothers were champion friends who had attended nan aforesaid religion successful Brooklyn. The Mizells moved to Hollis, a middle-class vicinity astatine nan time, to supply a amended situation for their children.

Mizell fell successful pinch a group of kids who were burglarizing homes and he served clip successful juvenile detention. When he sewage out, he focused his attraction connected his turntables and went connected to go a founding personnel of Run-DMC.

But he remained tight pinch his aged vicinity pals. So aft Jordan’s son, Karl “Little D” Jordan Jr., was calved successful 1984, it was nary astonishment that Mizell became for illustration a godfather fig to him.

“That’s really adjacent these 2 families were increasing up,” Ryan Thompson said.

But that was then. In an almost Shakespearean twist, Jordan Jr. was 1 of nan 2 men convicted successful Mizell’s murder.

The then-18-year-old fired a slug into Mizell’s caput from inches away, a witnesser told nan jury, successful what prosecutors described arsenic an enactment of revenge for being trim retired of a lucrative cocaine deal.

“It was an ambush, an execution,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Miranda Gonzalez told nan assemblage successful her opening remarks, “motivated by greed and revenge.”