Run-DMC announced today that they are officially retiring from rap, following the murder of their DJ, Jam Master Jay. The announcement came earlier today as various movers and shakers in the hip-hop community gathered to show solidarity within the hip-hop community. The bombshell news came during a press conference to announce a "coalition," to help raise additional funds for Jam Master Jay's family.
Before the briefing on Jay started, Reverend Run took the microphone to announce that Run-DMC was retiring. "We can't perform anymore. Nobody wants to see Run-DMC without Jay," Run said. "Jay was one third of the group. Was Jay a significant part of the group? He was and we split this money three ways. We are not able to go back out with Kid Rock and Aerosmith now, we had endorsement deals with Dr. Pepper and we cannot make those commercials now. Run-DMC is officially retired. I cannot get out in front of my fans with a new DJ. Some rock bands can replace the drummer and I don't know any other way but to be the three original members. That's all I can say. We are retired."
Jam Master Jay's wife, Terry Mizell, Run-DMC, Russell Simmons, Busta Rhymes, Dougie Fresh, Puffy, Minister Ben Muhammad, Spinderella, Chuck D., Dr. Dre and Ed Lover, MC Serch, Island Def Jam Chairman Lyor Cohen, Chubb Rock, Def Jam President Kevin Liles, Motown CEO Kedar Massenburg, Ad Rock, Hank Shocklee and Juelz Santana from Dip Set all showed up to show the variety of faces that were supporting a drive to catch the murderer of Jam Master Jay.
Minister Ben Muhammad said that 100,000 flyers and posters were going up around New York City with the image of Jam Master Jay and the tip line, in hopes of speeding the effort to bring the killer to justice.
"We are here to today to make sure that Jam Master Jay doesn't have any financial debt," Minister Ben said. "We are standing together in resolute unity in taking our responsibility. We are also here to announce our plans to launch a street campaign to keep the legacy of Jam Master Jay positive. The purpose of this conference is to outline our plans on how we plan to help the family."
Russell Simmons came to the microphone, thanking members of the hip-hop community for the amount of support that has been shown to Jam Master Jay's family.
"I am from Hollis Queens. And over the last 10 years, almost nobody has been brought to justice. As the conditions get worse...the root causes, poverty and ignorance, lack of opportunity and guns in the community, those are the issues we should be looking at," Simmons said. "Jason is not dead for any reason except that he escaped, as some who make money and leave the community do. He turned around and gave back. He lived and tried to uplift those in his community and because of that he was at risk to the same thing that other young men in the community are at risk to."
"It shouldn't be such a big surprise because men are getting murdered everyday," Simmons elaborated. "This is an important issue that we hope Jay's passing brings light to."
Chuck D spoke as passionately about the tragedy as others, but had an alternate viewpoint.
"There is not any more time left in the rap community for a person or people that rap so well that cannot speak to the people out there," Chuck D. said. "I see people that only listen and watch rappers. There is no reason for us to not act like men and women. If we are 28, 29 and 33 years old, we don't need to infantile ourselves and try to act like we are 16 years old, they are automatically looking up us. We do control the damn climate (in rap). I am saying first of all, this is documented science. The rappers have the ears and minds of the people. We have to be men and women."
LL Cool J donated $50,000 to Jay's family. Eminem, Irv Gotti, Dr. Dre, XXL, Interscope Records, The Source Magazine, Method Man, Ludacris, Red Man, BET, Radio One, Kid Rock and Busta Rhymes all announced at least 5 digit donations to Jay's family.
In addition, the coalition also set aside $50,000 for anyone that provides information that leads to the arrest of the culprit or culprits of Jay's murder.
"We really need the community to stand up. The police department has been really supportive of the family and nobody is faulting them," Simmons continued. "I have spoken to them a number of times and they have been very supportive."
"It's so hard to lose somewhat like this. I have had losses, we have all had losses and Jay's death shouldn't be in vain," Puffy added. "This financial problem we have, we should be able to solve this today. It shouldnt go on another day. His children should be taken care of, his family should be taken care of, his legacy should be taken care of."
Foxy Brown said that she came to support his family and to show that she represented the younger generation in hip-hop. "I am like a baby in hip-hop," Foxy admitted. "There is a greater message. We need to take a more positive stance."
Ed Lover paid a tearful tribute to his friend. "Run and them made me feel like I could be somebody." Jay broke through. They always reached back to us. The legacy of Jam Master Jay has to continue. Everybody that's in the industry that's living well, living and mansions and driving expensive cars have to realize if it wasn't for Jay, Run and DMC, none of would be eating the way we are eating. That's why it's important to make sure Jay's wife and children go to college and get that education."
"We need to put some love back into this music," Ed Lover continued. "This has to be the catalyst to turn this music business around. We can't censor artists, but we have to instill some love back into their hearts. We can't censor yall, but like Jay-Z said 'Where's the love?' It's time to put some love back into this stuff."