Earlier this month, a federal grand jury announced that Ronald Washington, 56, and Karl Jordan Jr., 36, were reportedly indicted on murder charges while engaging in drug trafficking. “I’m just so happy that they got indicted on that,” LL told Rolling Stone. “And I’m just glad that they’re one step closer to a conviction. It was an absolute tragedy. [Jay] will always be forever respected by me.”
“His family has my love,” the legendary rapper continued. “[Jay’s death] is one of the things that make me have thoughts that I don’t want to talk about in interviews. So I’m just glad that what happened with the indictment happened now, and I’ll leave it there. I’ll take 18 years over no years; 18 is better than nothing.”
The Run-DMC pioneer and turntablist, born Jason Mizell, was at his recording studio in Queens, New York, when he was fatally shot. Prosecutors later determined that Washington and Jordan conspired to kill him. Following news of their arrests, his fellow member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels released a statement expressing his relief that justice is at hand for his late friend.
“It’s been a difficult 18 years not having him around while knowing that his murderers were not yet indicted for this heinous crime,” McDaniels wrote. I commend NYPD, NYC Detectives, Federal Agents and all the law enforcement who were involved in this case for not giving up and working to bring justice for Jay. I realize this is a first step in the judicial process, but I hope Jay can finally Rest in Peace. My love to Jay’s wife Terri, his sons, his family, his friends, and all of his fans. #JMJForever.”
Likewise, for LL, the arrests have brought back a wellspring and emotions regarding his late friend. When he was a teenager, LL appeared alongside Run-DMC in the 1985 hip hop flick, Krush Groove. A year later, he joined the group on their Raising Hell tour.
“He was my friend,” the rap icon shared. “Jay was just a guy that I always had an admiration for that I looked to as a big brother who I argued with, who I talked music with, who I butted heads with in a good way, who taught me. I went on tour with Run-DMC. They put me under their wing.”
“I can’t even remember the first time I met Jay,” LL continued. “He was definitely already in Run-DMC, but we’re from the same neighborhood. Every time I met him, he was just the coolest dude in the world. He just had a great smile, great personality, [and] great energy. It always seemed to be really clear that he knew what he was doing. He was a very smart guy. He was a lot of fun, and he just bought an air of security to everyone around him. Like, he was very confident. He was so cool.”