by: Jerell Tongson
For RESPECT’s inaugural mixtape launch, TJ Mizell — second youngest son of the late, great Jam Master Jay — was on tap to spin for room full of the “industry” Tuesday night. The new project pays tribute to his roots; blending music from ’80s & ’90s hip hop figureheads. Resident legend/especially invested partygoer Darryll “DMC” McDaniels was the host for the night, bringing together two generations of their hip hop royalty together into one crowded DJ booth. Light vodka (aka vodka with more ice cubes) and unfulfilled promises of food got the crowd appropriately buzzed by the time TJ started to spin.
The spirit of Jam Master Jay was there Tuesday night (even in an abbreviated set) as he started to play “King of Rock.” A warm smile rolled over his face as he spun away on turntables, soaking it all in as DMC played both rapper and hypeman, reinvigorated by the enormity of the moment. The proclamations of being the “KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING” (of rock) still hold weight almost 25 years later. This seamlessly transitioned into an especially lively rendition of “Walk this Way” with DMC even taking on the yelp-ier Steven Tyler parts, clearly enjoying himself.
The co-signs are there (shout out to XXL/Adidas) and a ready-made audience that are listening, waiting for his next moves. He looks to expand his sound into electronic/dance music realm (his passion) and build upon his already strong foundation of hip-hop. At the end of the two songs, DMC took the mic and said “Respect is about the OGs and the young gs coming together… there’s an information gap & bringing the two together, that’s what hip hop is about.” Somewhere, Jam Master Jay is smiling too.