2 Turntables And A Microphone: The Life And Death Of Jam Master Jay - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

2 Turntables And A Microphone: The Life And Death Of Jam Master Jay Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 19, 2011
I'll admit that I knew next-to-nothing about Jam Master Jay before this documentary other than that he was a member of Run DMC and they are pioneers of hip-hop. I remember hearing about his death and not thinking much of it until this documentary. His cousin reminisces on Jay's childhood, his career and the suspicious circumstances of his death. The film stars off with happy nostalgia, laughs and anecdotes; famous musicians talking about how he influenced them directly or indirectly. Then middle of the doc focuses on the turmoil and drama going on behind the scenes between Jay's hangers-on and his friends and business associates. The third part of the film is hands-down the best part of the film: the suspicious circumstances of his murder. Was JMJ murdered by someone he knew? Was it a hit planned by one of his business partners? What did anyone have to gain from his death? Was his murder even about him, or was it about sending a message to 50 Cent? SO many interesting and thought-provoking theories and speculation. This is the part of the film that had me hooked all the way through to the end. I also loved the personal feel of the documentary. This wasn't a production from an outsider looking in. You were inside already because the producer was a member of Jay's inner circle, his family. f you're a fan of hip-hop (particularly old school) or if you just like conspiracy theories, I highly recommend this film.
May 6, 2011
This movie seems like it is going to be one of those cheap band bios where they find people who worked at McDonalds with the subject for a week when they were 15. You find out very quickly that this not that at all. This is a great documentry that has folks that knew and cared for Jay explain his upbringing and his importance to the coming up of Run DMC (confirmrd by Run and his brother Russell Simmons). The last part of the movie is dedicated to oportunitty for Jays family and friends to express there outrage on what happened and events after the fact
½ September 6, 2010
Much like the case itself, the movie shares with you the baffling circumstances around the murder of Jam Master Jay and provides you with no closure. It's a tragedy that is only compounded with people's refusal to talk and cooperate. While the movie certainly focuses on the murder quite a bit, it also celebrates his life by talking to, what seems like, everyone he knew. Close friends, family and people he worked with paint the picture of a musical legend.
December 23, 2009
I grew up on Run-DMC. I love Run-DMC. I have respect for them and Jam Master Jay.

I have 2 turntables and try to do what Jay did. But, this documentary is not good. It just basically kisses ass for 90 minutes from interviews from people you've never heard of.
November 4, 2012
Very Important Doc Outlining the Events that Lead up to the Legends Unsolved Death in 2002.
A Must See For Any Real Hip Hop Fan.
September 17, 2011
Such a shame that someone who seemed to love his neighbourhood and the people who he grew up with was slain and not one person has had the decency to come forward and help catch his killer. I was interested in this movie because of the enjoyment I get for Run DMCs music.
Having watched it sort of put the music aspect of the story to the back of my mind and focused me more on the injustice. Maybe this documentary doesn't paint a true reflection on the shooting , maybe the truth will never be shared. I for one think that this was a needless killing more then likely over something petty or down to sheer jealousy, I understand the code of the streets but it seems like Jam Master Jay was someone happy to use his wealth and celebrity to try and help people follow in his footsteps and find fame. I think Jay would still be alive today if he was able to have let go of his past in the hood and lived the lifestyle of his fellow band members. A loss to music but most of all a loss to the people of Hollis, Queens.
Super Reviewer
May 19, 2011
I'll admit that I knew next-to-nothing about Jam Master Jay before this documentary other than that he was a member of Run DMC and they are pioneers of hip-hop. I remember hearing about his death and not thinking much of it until this documentary. His cousin reminisces on Jay's childhood, his career and the suspicious circumstances of his death. The film stars off with happy nostalgia, laughs and anecdotes; famous musicians talking about how he influenced them directly or indirectly. Then middle of the doc focuses on the turmoil and drama going on behind the scenes between Jay's hangers-on and his friends and business associates. The third part of the film is hands-down the best part of the film: the suspicious circumstances of his murder. Was JMJ murdered by someone he knew? Was it a hit planned by one of his business partners? What did anyone have to gain from his death? Was his murder even about him, or was it about sending a message to 50 Cent? SO many interesting and thought-provoking theories and speculation. This is the part of the film that had me hooked all the way through to the end. I also loved the personal feel of the documentary. This wasn't a production from an outsider looking in. You were inside already because the producer was a member of Jay's inner circle, his family. f you're a fan of hip-hop (particularly old school) or if you just like conspiracy theories, I highly recommend this film.
May 6, 2011
This movie seems like it is going to be one of those cheap band bios where they find people who worked at McDonalds with the subject for a week when they were 15. You find out very quickly that this not that at all. This is a great documentry that has folks that knew and cared for Jay explain his upbringing and his importance to the coming up of Run DMC (confirmrd by Run and his brother Russell Simmons). The last part of the movie is dedicated to oportunitty for Jays family and friends to express there outrage on what happened and events after the fact
January 25, 2011
Intriguing doc about jmj. Well made
½ September 6, 2010
Much like the case itself, the movie shares with you the baffling circumstances around the murder of Jam Master Jay and provides you with no closure. It's a tragedy that is only compounded with people's refusal to talk and cooperate. While the movie certainly focuses on the murder quite a bit, it also celebrates his life by talking to, what seems like, everyone he knew. Close friends, family and people he worked with paint the picture of a musical legend.
½ March 23, 2010
RIP Jam Master Jay...One of the great pioneers of hip-hop...I'm glad I got to witness his genius in person...His music will live on.
½ January 11, 2010
the life & times of a real pioneer of hip-hop, jam master jay. a good doco that shows why JMJ made Run DMC, his life in general & his death. interviews from all different perspectives, including his family, friends & hip-hops biggest artists. til this day, no one knows why JMJ was murdered, its still a mystery. but overall a powerful & emotional film which shows the lives JMJ has touched over the years in hip-hop & in general. rest in peace Jam Master Jay! RUNDMCJMJ4EVER!!!
January 11, 2010
Going into this movie I didn't know too much about the life of Jam Master Jay. I felt like they did a good job of giving me an idea of the man behind the myth, but the story was not near as in depth as I would have liked it to be.
January 6, 2010
Taken too soon, and we still don't know what happened. But this film gives us some insights into what happened on that night. This is a must for any hip hop fan. RIP JMJ
December 23, 2009
I grew up on Run-DMC. I love Run-DMC. I have respect for them and Jam Master Jay.

I have 2 turntables and try to do what Jay did. But, this documentary is not good. It just basically kisses ass for 90 minutes from interviews from people you've never heard of.
November 22, 2009
before i saw this doc, i honestly knew very little about JMJ. i knew that he was a legend, as was his group, but i didn't know what kind of person he was.

watching this made one thing very clear. let me put it this way: hip hop lost something valuable when it lost Biggie and Pac, but there was more than 1 person who likely could have wanted those to very talented people to go down. they had a lot of enemies. jam master jay? that situation just doesn't add up.

it doesn't make sense that someone would want him dead, given how many people truly loved him and what a generous person he was, as we hear throughout this doc. but one of the people interviewed, the mother (or grandmother, can't remember) of a childhood friend of jay summed it up very well: jealousy is a very dangerous thing.

this documentary demonstrates just how influential jam master jay was, in a positive way, in the lives of a lot of people in hip hop. it's a very straightforward approach. the life and death of jam master jay as told from the perspective of many people who had the privilege of knowing him. it's pretty much all interviews.

what held my attention most was, of course, the section where those being interviewed try to figure out who killed jay, who wanted jay dead, and who was in on the plan. it's fascinating to see his friends try to do the math and figure out if there's any way that the murder of jay was *not* an inside job. when it comes down to it, it's a pretty slim chance that some people he knew were not in on it.

but the feeling that i'm left with immediately after seeing this is what a positive mark that jay left in hip hop and that his contribution to an art form will last long after his death. if you love hip hop and love to hear about it's beginnings and the people who were and are part of its foundation, you should see this.

R-I-P J-A-Y
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