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Squid #109
(published November 21, 2002)
Ask The Giant Squid: And This, It Is for My Homies Who Did Not Make It
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
A sadness has palled upon us. Some two weeks ago a legend of the Hips and Hops met an unfortunate end. Jason "the Jam Master Jay" Mizell was assassinated in his Merrick Boulevard recording studio in the great sub-city of the Queens, where-in he had been born and raised. While Jamming Jam Master Jay received the greater part of his notoriety based upon his participation in the foundation of the seminal rap collectiveRUN DMC, perhaps the greater significance is in what he continued to do, long after "King of Rock" had been relegated to the soundtrack of 1980's period pieces and "Walk This Way" found itself exclusively played on nostalgia-schmaltzed "80's Dance to Party" compilations.

In addition to operating his Jam Master Jay Records, he additionally founded the Scratch DJ Academy in Manhattan, dedicated to initiating children acolytes into the art and science of turntablism. Beyond this, more importantly, was the Jam Master's unflagging commitment to his community of birth and rearing, The Deep Dug Burrow of Queens, to her sustainance and improvement, as well as his energetic and vociferous resistance to the clownish violence and criminality which poisons rap to its heart to this very day. But, to the hells with philanthropy and good will and well intention and dedication! What one may never— must never— forget is that Jam Master Jay was a DJ of great primacy, the first to be recorded cutting up an actual record; as a producer, he was the first to use full sound synthesis, from bass-line to drum beats, on a track. But he was not simply a firster, a first to arrive— he was a DJ! This cannot be neglected, a primal force of a DJ, a superb DJ, a hip-hopnotic DJ, and what one weeps ceaselessly for is the loss of his discus jockeying, for the death of the beauty of the art of the moment. Yes, I have spoken at length on DJs, their beauty, and as Jam Master Jay was a DJ's DJ, a DJ of DJs, a DJ-superlative, the loss of him cuts us to the very bone (provided we have bones) and core (in the case that we lack bones, as do I.) Cuts as deep as the cut of his records.

As of late, I have dedicated a great deal of time to view various documentaries brought to my attention by my lab assistant, Rob. Most notable among these were an in-depth piece from the 1950s and 1960s exploring the salvage of Adolph Hitler's head, and an animated Japanese film detailing the training of psionically gifted children in Tokyo.

Yes, other documentaries were included in this televiewing marathon, including several documentaries on the mating rituals and habits of women in a variety of US cities, and a series of filmic treatments of the invariable results when college girls go wild. Truly shocking, I assure you. (They had been so tame, these women of the ivy-halls, so housebroken and safe . . . and then madness came upon them like the furried women of old.)

But it was the former two which, in my grief, most caught my interest: firstly, the salvation of Hitler's Head and Brain— which is distressing, in that I owe him a great deal of money— is also a glimmering of hope: could we not save Jam Master Jay's brain? Yes, I grant readily that much of his brain was destroyed by the close-range shot gun blast which dispatched him, spreading his brain far and wide throughout the studio. But, if we learn nothing from Akira, it is that even the slices and dices of the once living tissue might be brought together, and permitted to re-unify, so that they might inhabit Tetsuo's body and devour much of Neo-Tokyo.

My path was clear, and the benefits two folds, for not only would immersion in my new project successfully distract me from my sorrows, but it might additionally return to the world the boundless phrenetic beat-matches and arrangements of our own lost Jam Master. I would endeavor to re-train part or the whole of Jam Master Jay's brain, to be re-grown, re-united and re-stored. Every energy would be dedicated to this end— would be, and in fact, over the last fortnight, was. But . . .

To shorten the lengthy story, let it suffice to say that Jam Master Jay's surviving wife, Terri, was less than interested in complying with my request, and there is now a restraining order placed upon my person and my employees within the fine State of New York City. C'est la vie, non? (Mr. Bloomberg, to you I sincerely apologize. I shall fed-the-ex a new canine to your home forthwith.)

He was the King of Rock
Their was no higher;
the suckered DJs
all called him "Sire."

You are and shall remain much missed and of blessed memory, Mr. Master Jay. Rest, both in peace and pieces, now and forever.

The Giant Squid
Decapodal Hiphopping Head
Wouldbe Archduke G-to-tha-Ess of the Ones and Twos

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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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