You may not know who Erik “Shake” James is. But you are about to meet him. As a personal friend of the late, great, Jam Master Jay, Shake was part of Jay’s inner circle from 1988 until the Jam Master’s murder in October of 2002.
Shake traveled around the globe with Jam Master Jay and actually introduced AllHipHop’s owners/founders to the legendary DJ.
When the rumors of Jay’s death started to circulate, AllHipHop’s Grouchy Greg paged Jam Master hoping he would dispel what had yet to be confirmed, only to receive the tragic confirmation from Jay’s pager, but with Shake responding.
After hearing Randy Allen’s interview on Hot 97, in which he seemingly told an alternate version of what happened the night Jay was murdered, Shake decided to speak his mind.
Allen and his sister Lydia High, were longtime associates of Jay. Both have recently been under scrutiny from various media outlets, the subject of various reports suggesting they may know more about the murder than they are revealing.
In this exclusive interview, Shake comes forward to speak about the man he called his best friend, Jam Master Jay, and what may have happened to him.
AllHipHop: What was your role with Jay?
Shake: That was my best friend man.
AllHipHop: You also worked with Run-DMC?
AllHipHop: Jay was with you the day before he was murdered, no strange behavior?
Shake: We just played video games and was just hanging man.
AllHipHop: The following day he went back to the studio and was killed. Who was in the studio that night?
Shake: He had told me that he had to get back home because he had to turn in the Rusty Waters album. He bounced and I was speaking to him off and on. We had went to the club that night and he left his 2way in there. I went out the club and grabbed his 2way for him. He told me to grab 50 Cent’s 2way out the pager cause he wanted to speak to him about this movie thing. I spoke to Jay when they were getting their hair cuts and he told me to not call his cell phone and to call him at the studio, cause that’s where he was going to finish up the album. I gave him the number that he needed. He went into the studio. Next thing I know, may man calls me up and tells me that terrible news.
AllHipHop: Who were the people that were in the studio that night?
Shake: First of all, I wouldn’t be doing this but I heard Randy on Hot 97 today (June 25). The story that he told on the radio, he told me a totally different story as to what happened. He told me that they met this chick and she wanted someone to listen to her demo. Randy said that him and Mike B. (Michael Bonds) Jay, Tone (Urieco “Pretty Tone” Rincon), Lydia and the chick whose demo they were listening to were there. Somebody knocked on the door, told Lydia to get down, popped Jay and Pretty Tone gets hit off the ricochet. Randy said that he sees Jay down, grabs the studio gun and chases the gunman. He runs out the back, Mike B runs out the front. They chasing the dude and they can’t find them. I’m like why didn’t you shoot? He said that dude was gone. My whole thing is this. All these dudes say they love Jay, say they’d do this and that. All these people owe Jay more than what they doing. To just sit back and say nothing and everybody is telling a different story. It ain’t like Jay got killed by a sniper from a million yards away, it was people right there. Then I hear him say there was 60 people in the hall? So now that’s 65 witnesses and nobody still saw nothing? Dude sat right in a car, looked me dead in my face. I said, “Randy, it’s just me and you. Who did that to Jay?” He said “Shake the ngga that killed your best friend and mine is Curtis Scoon.” And then he told me that bullsht a## story. But then on the radio today he sounded like he was protecting Scoon! I’m already sitting back fcked up about this sht everyday and now I have to figure why the f*ck Randy lied to me.
AllHipHop: So one minute he’s telling you Scoon did it, and now he’s saying it might not have been Scoon.
Shake: What’s real is real. He sounded like he was protecting dude. He said that their beef wasn’t big enough for him to wanna kill Jay.
AllHipHop: OK so what do you think about Scoon?
Shake: Man, their beef is so old, it was a money thing. That sht was in 1993. That sht is old but you can’t just rule sh*t out.
AllHipHop: Why do you think Randy Allen and Lydia may not be cooperating with the police?
Shake: I’ma tell you like this. n*ggas always talk about that street code. As far as that goes, that’s out the window. This is Jay. They supposed to be family. Jay would take his shirt off his back and give it to them dudes. I’m not saying they wouldn’t do it too, but they not right now. When you in the streets and your grindin’ and hustling and somebody get done like that, it’s a part of the game cause you living that life. When you not doing that and your on the right path, that’s not supposed to happen. That was cold blooded murder.
AllHipHop: A lot of things have been printed about Randy Allen and the authorities are now investigating him. Has there been anything different about his behavior?
Shake: Everybody needs to just get on the same page and focus on who really did this to Jay. To me, they didn’t give a f*ck about Jason Mizell, but they loved Jam Master Jay. I know they don’t care about his kids or his wife. It’s so scary cause some of these cats poppin up were never part of our circle. All of a sudden these dudes are hanging close to DMC, I see these dudes trying to run up on Terri. These cats were never around. And they know who I am talking about.
AllHipHop: There was a report in Newsday that said investigators were looking into whether or not Terri was linked to Supreme. Investigators said they dismissed that. Can you comment on that?
Shake: As far as that situation goes, that don’t got nothing to do with what’s going on. Everyone’s focus should be to find out who killed Jay. All that other stuff is extra.
AllHipHop: What could have been the motive behind anyone wanting to kill Jay? Are you aware of any street beef’s Jay may have had?
Shake: I wish I was aware, because I would have known who did it. From 88- until Oct. 30th I spent the best years of my life with Run, D, Terri, Jay. I been around the world with them cats man. I was Robin, he was Batman, put it like that.