Chuck D., Kid Rock and Grandmaster Flash will
honor the late Jam Master Jay in a tribute at the VH1 Big in 2002 Awards in
The ceremony, which is scheduled to air December
14 on VH1, will also include a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to Run-DMC.
The group announced their retirement shortly after Jay was murdered.
Chuck D. was allotted 2 minutes to pay tribute
to the fallen legend. Here are portions of his speech.
"He always had a welcome mat for anybody
who wanted to rap and do it right. He always helped out the brand-new cats.
With his heart, skill and belief, he was the overall embodiment of a commitment
to the elements of hip-hop.
But Jay being a nice guy doesn’t change the climate
and atmosphere he lived in. Many people feel the culture has been mishandled
by people who have benefited financially by saying violence and thug life best
represents the attention span of rap itself. Some have found a way to live well
from it, while not respecting the responsibility that comes with it. For the
sake of those who live in the hood by keeping it real by doing the right thing,
that one sided projection has to change.
We talk about the gigantic losses music suffered
in the ’90s with the deaths of Cobain and Biggie and Tupac — Run-DMC influenced
all of them. Think on that. Run-DMC is our Beatles. They had the first rap album
to reach the top ten. They had the first rap album to hit #1 on the R&b
chart. Just as the Beatles broke the mold in the 1960s, Run-DMC did in the 1980s.
Every rap act since owes them a debt of gratitude."