Run-DMC tribute to murdered Mizell

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Published: Monday 19th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Hip-hop heavyweights Run-DMC paid tribute to their late band-mate Jason Mizell as they played their first UK gig together in over 12 years.

DJ Mizell, 37, known as Jam Master Jay, was murdered in Queens, New York, in October 2002. His killer has never been caught.

The duo – Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons – led the 300-strong crowd to make peace signs while saying “JMJ, RIP”.

“Several years ago my DJ was killed by violence,” said Simmons. “We need to stop the violence in hip-hop. This is for Jam Master Jay, our former soldier.”

A scratch tribute to the turntablist was also played.

Simmons and McDaniels performed hits including It’s Tricky, It’s Like That, Mary Mary, King Of Rock and My Adidas at London’s Scala tonight, to commemorate Vodafone’s 30-year anniversary of the first UK mobile call. The o ne-off gig, attended by mostly competition winners, was streamed live over Vodafone’s 4G network on YouTube.

The group are also celebrating over 30 years in the music industry, with their self-titled debut album released in 1984.

“30 years of Vodafone and 30 years of Run-DMC makes this show a match made in heaven,” Simmons said on stage.

The pair were joined by Game Of Thrones actor Raleigh Ritchie – whose real name is Jacob Anderson – for a rendition of Walk This Way.

The rappers earlier revealed they still battle nerves before a gig, de spite having performed for huge audiences over three decades.

McDaniels, 50, revealed: “I only get nerves right before I go on stage. Right before I go on stage, I get that little realisation of ‘Oh shoot, I gotta go out there!’ I never wanted to go out there… I used to do those rhymes in my basement.

“I’m 50 years old now, I started writing rhymes when I was 12, and I still get that feeling.”

The rapper said he channels his inner superhero before performing: “So before I go on stage, I have to change into the Hulk because he’s my favourite superhero… The mild-mannered Darryl McDaniels transformed into the mighty King of Rock.”

Simmons, also 50, said he deals with his nervous energy by pacing around backstage.

“I love performing so up to the moment of truth, I’m a little nervous – and when it (the time) comes, pow! That’s what I’m waiting for,” he said.

The star of reality show, Run’s House, continued: “I walk in circles. I just relax and wait for the moment. There’s nothing I can do.”

Meanwhile, Ritchie, best known for playing Grey Worm in fantasy TV series Game Of Thrones, admitted sharing the stage with Run-DMC was a dream come true.

“This is the biggest deal of my life. This is pretty special. Run-DMC are heroes of mine,” he said. “I found out before Christmas and was told not to tell anyone. I told my dad and he almost had a heart attack.”

The 24-year-old singer and actor, who will release his new single The Greatest in March and his debut album later this year, continued: “They were one of the first acts to show us that it was cool to mix genres and step outside of the box, whilst remaining honest and speaking truth. That means an awful lot to me personally, so to now be sharing a stage with them is a very surreal and exciting thing. A true honour.

“I will remember this night for the rest of my life.”

Run-DMC’s last UK performance together was at the Totally Board festival in Manchester in October 2001, although McDaniels joined Aerosmith at the Hyde Park Calling festival in 2007, and Camden’s Jazz Cafe in 2010.

Published: Monday 19th January 2015 by The News Editor

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