If ever there has ever been a human being that embodied Hip Hop culture to the fullest, it’s Keith Grayson, AKA DJ Kay Slay. Hailing from Harlem’s East Side, Kay Slay ran the street bombing trains (writing graffitti) with his legendary tag, King Dez. He also DJ’d block parties throughout the early eighties until he landed a spot on Hot 97, the #1 Hip Hop radio station in the country. Unfortunately, a tweet started making the rounds this Easter Sunday night stating, “Legendary NY DJ, DJ Kay Slay has reportedly passed away, according to Wack 100. He was reportedly still recovering after being hospitalized for COVID-19 in December. RIP DJ Kay Slay.”
Kay Slay Fought Hard
It was first bought to the public’s attention back in December when Wack 100 made a post on instagram about the rapper contracting the deadly virus. But at the time, his brother Kwame Grayson stated that Slay had been on the path to recovery.
Kwame told HipHopDX, “He’s definitely not going to die. That right there…I’m not going to lie, I was jumping around. I was definitely happy. Kay Slay is a private dude and he didn’t tell anybody in the hospital who he was, and we was kinda getting average treatment. When they found out who he was, that’s when everybody stepped up treatment.”
He continued “He was slowly fading away, but God didn’t let that happen. Everything in time and when they found out who he was, they got him powered up again. So he’s up and going. He’s like in a recovery state, but he’s definitely not going to die. You can trust me on that.”
Unfortunately, Kwame was wrong and Slay has lost his battle with Covid. Kay Slay was probably the last bridge between New York’s gritty underground boom bap sound, and what it has become today. He didn’t care how popular you were, what label you were singed to, if you had talent, Kay Slay would give you a shot. Slay had also become notorious for putting rappers from all generations of Hip Hop on the same song, as you could see here on his latest offering Rolling 110 Deep. He was one of the few who could pull this off time and time again. Everyone loved Kay Slay, even his haters. I must say this, there will never, ever be another Kay Slay. Period.