February 25, 2013

Jam Jay Crime File

US television channel, TV One, recently covered the death of Jam Master Jay as part of their Crime File series.  But before looking at the tragic death of Jam Jay, the episode begins by documenting the formation of Run DMC, them getting signed to Profile Records and the influence Jay had on his band members. 
Also covered is the demise of Run DMC in the late 80's, supposedly caused by Russell Simmons' law suit against Profile Records, although I'm not sure that I'd entirely agree with that perspective.  Run DMC had a distinct sound, but the late 80's saw the hip hop landscape change dramatically.  To me, the group no longer fitted so neatly into this new era and they failed to adapt.

Other angles explored are Jam Jay's signing of Onyx and 50 Cent, and the financial difficulties he later faced.  Then we get to the night of the murder.  Don't expect any revelations here, we see the well documented links to Kenneth 'Supreme' McGriff touched upon, but then dismissed!  The occupants of the studio that night are all named and we see a reconstruction of the events, but ultimately we're not given anything new or led to any different conclusions.

But don't let this put you off, this is still a good documentary that, for the most part, explores Run DMC's history and influence and only the last 10 minutes is given to examining the night of the murder.  It contains contributions from a range of industry associates and his friends Eric B and Fredro Starr.

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