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Jam Master Jay murdered.....

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NEW YORK — Legendary hip-hop DJ Jam Master Jay, one of the founding members of rap pioneers Run DMC, was shot and killed Wednesday evening near the New York neighborhood where he grew up, police said.

Publicist Tracy Miller confirmed the death of the 37-year-old DJ, whose real name was Jason Mizell.

The shooting happened at a recording studio on Merrick Boulevard in the Jamaica section of Queens, a law enforcement source said on condition of anonymity.

Two men were buzzed into the second-floor studio shortly before shots were fired inside its lounge at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, police said. As of early Thursday, police had made no arrests.

Run DMC fans gathered at the scene, some hugging each other and crying.

"Rest In Peace Jam Master," Run DMC's official Web site read early Thursday, underneath a picture of Mizell.

Mizell was shot once in the head and was dead at the scene, said Detective Robert Price, a police spokesman. He said the shooter remained at large and said police had no information on a motive.

A second man, identified by police as 25-year-old Urieco Rincon, was shot in the leg and was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital. The hospital did not immediately return a call.

"Initially when I heard the news I was devastated, but not as shocked as I expected I'd be," Angela Young, A&R coordinator at J Records, told Fox News.

"My response was a strong indication that hip-hop culture has been desensitized to senseless death," she said.

Mizell served as the group's disc jockey, providing background for singers Joseph Simmons, better known as DJ Run, and Darryl McDaniels, better known as DMC.

Miller said Mizell and McDaniels had planned to perform in Washington, D.C., on Thursday at a Washington Wizards basketball game. Mizell had performed on Tuesday in Alabama, she said.

Mizell was married and had three children, she said.

"He was a great producer, a hard worker," Miller said. "He's a family man."

"He's one of the rap pioneers; there are only a couple of others, such as LL Cool J, who have maintained career longevity in this game like Run DMC has," Young said. "Another fallen angel. When will we start to realize violence is not the way?"

Chuck D, the founder of the hip-hop group Public Enemy, blamed record companies and the advertising for perpetuating "a climate of violence" in the rap industry.

"When it comes to us, we're disposable commodities," he said.

Doctor Dre, a New York radio station DJ who had been friends with Mizell since the mid-1980s, said, "This is not a person who went out looking for trouble. ... He's known as a person that builds, that creates and is trying to make the right things happen."

Dozens of fans gathered on the outskirts of the crime scene in Queens, including many people from the Hollis section of the borough, where the members of Run DMC grew up.

"It's a shame that another artist has been murdered, and it's leaving a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths toward hip-hop," local Queens R&B artist Andre Bruce told Fox News. "It's giving us a bad image, as a thoughtless art. This is a lot of undeserved negative press."

Another fan who lives nearby, Leslie Bell, 33, said the members of Run DMC often let local musicians record for free at the studio.

"That was their decision, to stay here and give back to the community," Bell said. "He is one great man. The good always die young. He's the good guy."

Run DMC is widely credited with helping bring hip-hop into music's mainstream, including the group's smash collaboration with Aerosmith on the 1986 reworking of the 1976 hard-rock standard "Walk This Way" and hits such as "My Adidas" and "It's Tricky."

"We always knew rap was for everyone," Mizell said in a 2001 interview with MTV. "Anyone could rap over all kinds of music."

"It wasn't the soulful R&B of the '70s and '80s," he said of the group's early work. "So we didn't want to be like the soft R&B. We wanted to go hardcore, so we put the rock-and-roll on our rap."

The trio released a greatest-hits album earlier this year. In 2001, the rappers produced Crown Royal, breaking an eight-year silence.

Mizell is the latest in a line of hip-hop artists to fall victim to violence. Rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur were murdered within seven months of each other in 1996 and 1997 — crimes that some believe were the result of an East Coast-West Coast rap war.

But Run DMC and their songs were never about violence. The group promoted education and unity.

In 1986, at the height of their popularity, the trio said they were outraged by the rise of fatal gang violence in the Los Angeles area. They called for a day of peace between warring street gangs.

"This is the first town where you feel the gangs from the minute you step into town to the time you leave," Mizell said at the time.

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