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Hollis corner renamed Run-D.M.C. JMJ Way

After earning major accolades among the music world’s finest, Run-D.M.C. will be memorialized on the Hollis streets where they got their start.

The City Council approved a bill June 30 to rename the corner of 205th Street and Hollis Avenue “Run DMC JMJ Way” in honor of the hip-hop group that pioneered the genre. The corner is near the location of Hollis Famous Burger, a restaurant and museum dedicated to the history of hip-hop and filled with memorabilia from the band.

“It is my sincere hope that this street renaming, combined with the museum, will help to economically revitalize this particular neighborhood as a potential tourism attraction,” said Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans).

The bill is waiting approval from the mayor and if he signs it, the street will be officially renamed later this summer, according to the councilman.

Run-D.M.C., which was comprised of Joseph “DJ Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, who was killed in 2002, began performing in the early 1980s and became instant hits with songs like “It’s Like That” and “Rock Box.” Their 1985 album “King of Rock” shattered record sales and introduced inner-city hip-hop to listeners across the globe.

The band’s popularity was also enhanced by their music videos, which were being played on MTV during the network’s inception.

“Given their historic accomplishments, Run-D.M.C. is a tremendous source of pride for the Hollis community I represent,” Comrie said.

The group gained the respect of their musical peers from other genres, including Aerosmith. In 1986, Run-D.M.C. recorded a cover of “Walk this Way” with the rock band.

Despite the national fame and fortune, the band’s members did not forget their roots and gave back to the community with charities and other ventures. Jam Master Jay opened up a recording studio on Merrick Boulevard and helped new artists get their foot through the door.

It was at this studio where Jam Master Jay was murdered in 2002. A mural of the slain musician can be seen near the corner where the street is set to be renamed later this summer. No suspects in the murder have been arrested.

In April, Run-D.M.C. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to great fanfare among the hip-hop and rock communities. The surviving members dedicated their induction to Jam Master Jay during the ceremony.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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