Nevertheless, many people do not realize that it is much more than that. Hip-hop is a form of art and culture, style and language, an extension of commerce, and for many, a natural means of living. Rap and hip-hop has been plagued by negative connotations of violence since its existence. Whether it is the controversial lyrics or the vicious murders of many artists, violence appears to be an everyday element of this "bad-boy" lifestyle. The recent death of Jam Master Jay (a hip-hop pioneer, disc jockey, and member of Run DMC), has garnished an everlasting question: When does violence and negativity cease to be an associate of the hip-hop culture? .
Jam Master Jay.
On October 30, 2002 the life of a trailblazer came to a vile end. DJ Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, was brutally murdered inside a recording studio in New York City. His wife, two sons, mother, brother, and sister survive him. He was thirty-seven years of age. Another victim of the shooting was in critical condition, and has since recovered after being shot in the leg (Reid, MTV 1). Currently there has not been any arrest made in this murder mystery, and only brief details have been released to the public. New York City police detective Bernard Porter Jr. says, "Two assailants were buzzed in to the building, located at 90-10 Merrick Blvd. in Jay's hometown of Queens. But police don't know if the perpetrators were allowed in from the studio or from one of two other businesses that share space in the building" (Reid, MTV 2). Such newspapers as the New York Post have begun to speculate on the motive of Jay's murder. Black Entertainment Television reports that [The New York Post] speculates "Jam Master Jay may have been killed for a dispute over money, and fingered an individual named Curtis Scoon as the prime suspect in the investigation, and the man wanted by police for questioning" (Creekmur, BET). However, exact details remain unclear.