As today marks the untimely passing of Jam Master Jay, it's only right to honor, reflect,and appreciate the barriers that the legendary DJ broke in hip-hop. As a member of the legendary group Run D.M.C, Jay assisted in crafting a guide to territories that were then unheard of. Not only was he one of the first hip-hop entities to appear on MTV but he was also the first in the genre to be nominated for a Grammy amongst a host of other things.

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Took Rap To The Mainstream

Breaking the top ten for the first time in the genre, Jam Master Jay as a member of Run D.M.C was the first rap group to appear on Billboard's top 10. Breaking in at the number 4 spot, the guys opened up the flood gates for future of hip-hop.

First Hip-Hop Group to be nominated for a Grammy

In 1986, when rappers were just about the last on the list to be considered for a Grammy, Run D.M.C broke a huge barrier for the genre nominated for "Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group" award. At a time when the Rap didn't even have it's own category at the ceremony, bestowing the hip-hop group with this honor was an unheard of occurrence.

First Rappers On MTV

Run D.M.C was the first rap group to appear on MTV. Knocking down the racial barrier that was the network's standard at the time, the video for the trio's Aerosmith remake “Walk This Way," conquered the channel changing things eternally.

50 Cent

Jam Master Jay also had a big influence on the career of fellow Queens native 50 Cent. Not only did Jay produce 50's first album (never released) but he also taught the rapper how to count bars, write hooks, and structure songs. The legendary DJ was also responsible for 50's first professional appearance on Onyx's 1998 album Shut 'Em Down.