Influential disc jockey and music govt DJ Kay Slay died Sunday evening after a four-month battle with COVID-19, his family confirmed Monday in a press launch. He was 55.
“Our hearts are broken by the passing of Keith Grayson, professionally usually known as DJ Kay Slay. A dominant decide in hip-hop custom with a whole bunch of 1000’s of followers worldwide, DJ Kay Slay is likely to be remembered for his passion and excellence with a legacy that will transcend generations” the assertion study.
“In memory of DJ Kay Slay, our family must thank all of his associates, followers, and supporters for his or her prayers and successfully wants all through this troublesome time. We ask that you just respect our privateness as we grieve this tragic loss.”
The hip-hop star — recognized to followers, associates and contemporaries as a result of the “drama king” — was moreover mourned Monday by Scorching 97, the New York Metropolis radio station and residential to Kay Slay’s “Drama Hour,” which he hosted on Fridays from 1 to 2 a.m. Furthermore, the musician deejayed for SiriusXM’s Shade 45, an “uncensored” hip-hop channel created by rapper Eminem.
“Scorching 97 is shocked and saddened by the shortage of our beloved DJ Kay Slay,” the station talked about Monday in a press launch.
“We cherish the quite a few reminiscences created by way of the twenty-plus years he dedicated to the ‘Drama Hour.’ A cultural icon, Kay Slay was better than solely a DJ, to us he was family and an essential part of what made Scorching 97 the worthwhile station it’s proper this second. Our hearts exit to his family, associates and followers worldwide and we’ll always and eternally have a great time The Drama King’s legacy.”
In January, Kay Slay’s youthful brother, Kwame Grayson, suggested HipHopDX the DJ was on the mend after being hospitalized with COVID-19. On the time, Grayson dispelled rumors that his brother was positioned on a ventilator, nonetheless talked about he was hooked as a lot as some type of “machine that was serving to him breathe.”
Late closing 12 months, Kay Slay launched his closing album, “Soul Controller,” that features Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Ghostface Killah, Shaqueen, Dirti Diana and others.
“It’s DJ Kay Slay, the drama king, the soul controller,” the radio luminary says on the file’s intro observe.
“It was a time that I had stepped away from the custom. I was soulless and confused with life. Nevertheless in 1990, I decided to return, and the custom helped restore my soul. Hip-hop saved my life. So merely know, after I say I’m doing it for the custom, it’s not enterprise. It’s non-public.”
In step with his biography on Scorching 97, Kay Slay grew up in Harlem, the place he ascended the musical ladder by refereeing MC battles by the use of his “Streetsweeper” mixtapes. Up-and-coming rappers attained fame by moving into Kay Slay’s orbit, whereas established artists collaborated with him to remain recent and related.
“For these artists that will’t get on MTV, these artists that will’t get on the radio or don’t have a major label to position them on the road to hold out and expose themselves to most people, they’ve the mixtapes,” Kay Slay advised the Los Angeles Instances in 2003.
“They ship their songs to the DJs and say ‘Please put this in your mixtape subsequent month.’ ”
In 2003, Kay Slay launched his debut album, “The Streetsweeper Vol. 1,” that features 50 Cent, Nas, Eminem and totally different main hip-hop stars. The following 12 months, he dropped “The Streetsweeper Vol. 2,” which included verses from Scarface, E-40 and LL Cool J.
On prime of his musical endeavors, Kay Slay was moreover the chief govt of Straight Stuntin’ Journal, a quarterly publication spotlighting interviews with fashions and hip-hop musicians.
“We misplaced one of many important SOLID MFs in HipHop,” rapper Ice-T tweeted Monday. “I’ve been checking in on him his total battle inside the Hospital. I truly thought he was gonna pull by way of. This truly Hurts… F Covid. RIP to the Drama King #Kay Slay.”
In December, Kay Slay posted a motivational message on Instagram that study, “Unusually, life will get extra sturdy for those who try to make it easy. Exercising may very well be onerous, nonetheless certainly not shifting makes life extra sturdy.
“Uncomfortable conversations are onerous, nonetheless avoiding every battle is extra sturdy,” he continued. “Mastering your craft is troublesome, nonetheless having no experience is extra sturdy. Easy has a worth.”