Remembering Jon James: Canadian MC who passed away “doing what he loved”
An outpour on social media from family, friends, musicians and fans over the sudden death of multi-talent Jon James has stricken the hip-hop community and world abroad.
34-year-old Jon James McMurray, who performed as Jon James (aka Mcfee), was a professional rapper, musician, film maker, stunt artist and athlete. He lost his life this past weekend on Saturday Oct. 20, after an attempted airplane stunt for a videoshoot went wrong.
On Monday, the press released a statement from Murray’s manager Ryan Desrochers which stated that he’d been trained intensely for the stunt which was set to be the final scene for a video he had been filming for months. McMurray had planned to walk on the wing of a small Cessna plane while rapping for the video.
During the shoot, he walked too far out on the wing which sent the small aircraft into a downward spiral that the pilot couldn’t correct. He held onto the wing until it was too late and by the time he let go he didn’t have enough time to deploy his parachute, dying instantly upon impact.
The accident took place over the small farming and logging community of Westwold, BC between Vernon and Kamloops. The pilot was able to regain control where no one else was hurt, however it was too late for the fearless artist.
Jon leaves behind his father Doug McMurray, mother Jen McMurray, brother Jarred McMurray, his wife Kali James, and endless close friends and fans abroad.
Known not only for his music and ambitious character, McMurray is remembered as a professional skier who combined free skiing and extreme stunts which led him to earning multiple ‘world firsts’ associations with his name. He was the first action sports personality to successfully land a backflip from rail-to-rail.
Desrochers stated, “He was known as one of the most innovative skiers during his time on the snow and is respected by the best skiers in the world.”
His tendency to perform dangerous stunts led to several serious injuries including several surgeries, a fractured neck, and a broken back on two separate occasions. He decided to retire from professional skiing and pursued his career in music.
“He poured his ambition for life into his music and relentlessly worked toward advancement in the music industry. Jon earned his way to the stage and loved to perform at large events like Center of Gravity alongside some of the biggest names in hip-hop.” Desrochers said.
“His passion for making music videos and performing stunts were combined and Jon pushed music in a new direction that was uncharted territory.”
And that’s exactly who he was. An ambitious, hard-working and dedicated individual who loved music and dedicated his life to conquering every aspect of his dreams and goals. A trendsetter who reached for the stars, with the heart of an angel who now soars upon us as one himself. He will be dearly missed.
Jon will be remembered and forever known for his genuine love and ambition along with his high-performance shoots – complete with his perseverance and dedication for extreme stunts. Leaving an imprint of substantial drive, dedication, motivational moral and all-around inspiration. Jon James McMurray truly died doing what he loved. He will be deeply missed while his legacy lives on through both music and sports, and the countless lives he touched and changed along the way.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the musician to help fund both his celebration of life and to release his works that he had been working so hard on behind the scenes to share with everyone.
Rest In Peace Jon James
This tribute to Jon James was written by Alberta-based recording artist Nki Louise.