By Hillary Crosley with reporting by Rahman Dukes
Today (October 30), we celebrate the life of Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay, who passed way eight years ago. Recently his partner-in-rhyme DMC received the Champion Award for his charity work with foster children from the nonprofit group, Children’s Rights. In respect of this day of mourning, RapFix also asked the legend for a fond memory of his friend Jam Master Jay.
“Something that I always have to sit back and laugh at is this, he traveled with the X-Box thing,” remembers DMC. “So we’re on tour, on a bus for 12 hours. Where’s Jay? He’s in the back [playing video games]. We check in, get to the hotel room, even if you sleep on the tour bus, you’re tired, you want to go to your room. We check in at 830 in the morning and by 8:45, Jay’s up in his room playing the video games.”
“Now this is the funny thing, all day we know everybody has to be in the lobby by 11:30,” continued DMC. “11:30 comes, me, Run, Smith, Ray and Eric are downstairs—where’s Jay? Go up to Jay’s room, what’s he doing? [Playing] with the X-Box thing, he was an X-Box fiend.”
As for DMC’s work with the foster child advocacy group Children’s Rights, he takes the struggle personally.
“I’m fighting to give all those kids in the foster care system what I had,” DMC told MTV’s RapFix. “I know it’s possible. I’m only following the lead of the people that are honoring me. They just needed a solider, I take it more as welcome to the club, you’re doing a good thing.”
The organization raises awareness and support for the defense of abused and neglected children in foster care across the United States. A product of the system himself, DMC, born Darryl McDaniels, heads his own nonprofit called the Felix Organization/Adoptees for Children that operates Camp Felix in upstate New York and provides leadership training for teenage youth, as well as other year-round opportunities for children in foster care.
The icon went on to say that charity work is more fulfilling than a pile of platinum plaques.
“I ain’t doing this for me, I’m doing this for these kids,” said DMC. “I don’t even think about the honor and the accolades, even with the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame thing, I walk the street and people come up to me and say ‘Yo, DMC congratulations’ and I go ‘Huh?’ Then they give me this real mean look and I go ‘Oh, oh Rock And Roll! Thank you, I’m honored, I’m honored.’ ”
“But life isn’t about awards, my rewards comes from when my music, my actions and my existence changed lives.” he concluded.
Rest in peace Jam Master Jay. For more information on DMC’s nonprofit organization Felix, log onto Beonetoo.org.
What are your memories of Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below.