Today is the 6th anniversary of Jam Master Jay’s murder. The Queens native was shot and killed in his recording studio back in 2002, the case still remains unsolved.
So I happened upon this news on Monday about a JMJ documentary called Two Turntables And A Microphone, which 50 Cent will be releasing alongside his album/movie Before I Self Destruct. One of the producers on the project is JMJ’s cousin, Stephon “Phonz” Watford. In the article, 50 Cent says Phonz was working on the documentary for 5 years.
What really strikes me about this whole project is not the actual film itself, which from what I’m reading and hearing, just rehashes things we already know about JMJ’s murder (for the record, I haven’t seen it). It’s the way this project is being released, backed by a movie and album by none other than the uber gangster rapper himself, 50 Cent. This is the guy who made getting shot fashionable, the “cool” thing for rappers to do. So to see a film about Fif’s mentor, about his murder, and then you put in Fif’s album and it’s all “aggressive content” (*snicker*), you’ve gotta really be scratching your head at that. It’s almost blatant, throwing this violence right back at the listener after they watch a film about a senseless act of violence.
I also wonder how long Phonz was shopping this project around, looking for someone to help put it out. Could it be that 50 Cent is now putting JMJ on the same way JMJ did for him back in the late 90s? In essence, by releasing this film with his album, Fif’s giving JMJ a platform, a way for the people who buy his music to find out about his mentor. And that’s dope, because I think most 50′s fans aren’t really into the whole backstory like that.
But why is Two Turntables And A Microphone doomed to the hip-hop buddy treatment? JMJ can’t get any love on his own, he needs 50 to cosign him? I mean, Reverend Run is on TV. Can’t his own former group member help get the film a look? Nobody watches MTV2 on a Friday night, stick it there. Or Russell Simmons, why didn’t he get involved?
Of course, this is all speculation, maybe some of these folks tried to get involved or are involved. But I doubt it. And this will all be a moot point if the film totally sucks. But just saying, the connection between 50 and JMJ runs deep. It’s more than business. Jam Master Jay’s final offering to the world before his passing really was Curtis Jackson. And now Fif is repaying that debt, finally.