DJ Kay Slay

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DJ Kay Slay
DJ Kay Slay.jpg
Background information
Birth nameKeith Grayson
Also known as
  • The Drama King
  • Dez
  • Slap Your Favorite DJ
Born(1966-08-14)August 14, 1966
New York City, U.S.
DiedApril 17, 2022(2022-04-17) (aged 55)
New York City, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Occupation(s)
  • Disc jockey
  • music promoter
Years active1983–2022
Labels

Keith Grayson (August 14, 1966 – April 17, 2022), professionally known as DJ Kay Slay, was an American disc jockey (DJ) from New York City. He is referred to by The New York Times as "Hip Hop's One-Man Ministry of Insults".[1][2] He released four studio albums, The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1, The Streetsweeper, Vol. 2, The Champions: North Meets South (with Greg Street), and More Than Just a DJ.

Early life[edit]

Grayson was born August 14, 1966, in New York City, New York. Grayson was originally a prominent graffiti artist, having been featured in the 1983 hip hop documentary, Style Wars. One of Grayson's better known tags was "Dez".[2] As a youth involved in New York's flourishing hip hop scene, Keith witnessed firsthand the ascent of legendary disc jockeys such as Grandmaster FlashGrand Wizzard Theodore, and Kool DJ Red Alert, in the late 1970s and into the 1980s. "I didn't so much set out to be a DJ," he said. "It was just something to do that was fun and that I enjoyed doing."[3] With the decline of the graffiti movement in the late 1980s, Dez began dealing with narcotics and consequently ended up in jail by the late 1980s. Grayson was released from jail in 1990, and claimed to have abstained from using drugs thereafter. He hailed from the East River Houses located in East Harlem, New York.

Career[edit]

2003–2009: Streetsweeper series[edit]

DJ Kay Slay released his debut album, The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1, on 20 May 2003. In the summer of 2003, Kay Slay released a single, accompanied by a music video, for a song titled "Too Much For Me". The single, which features a chorus sung by then-up-and-coming singer Amerie, also features verses from American rappers Birdman, Nas, and Foxy Brown. The song peaked at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, making it the DJ's highest-charting single to date. The single's music video includes cameo appearances by Swizz Beatz, N.O.R.E., Raekwon, WC, and Lloyd Banks.[citation needed] Although the song was not a major success, its music video was aired on MTV Jams and BET. The "Too Much For Me" video did not feature Nas (because of Nas' solo projects) or Baby; so Loon was featured instead. This replacement started a feud between Nas and Kay Slay.

On March 30, 2004, Kay Slay's second album The Streetsweeper, Vol. 2, was released. Another single and video were released for "Who Gives A...Where You From" with Three 6 Mafia, which peaked at number 89 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Kay Slay and the song were featured on the 2004 NFL Street video game.[citation needed]

2010–2022: More Than Just a DJ and Rhyme or Die[edit]

After releasing More Than Just a DJ in 2010, Rhyme or Die was released. The first album's initial two singles "60 Second Assassins" featuring Busta Rhymes, Layzie Bone, Twista, and Jaz-O and "The Kings of the Streets" featuring DJ Khaled, DJ Drama, DJ Doo Wop, and Fly Nate were released in 2011. In 2013, "About That Life" featuring Fabolous, T-Pain, Rick Ross, Nelly, and French Montana was released as a single from Rhyme or Die. It debuted and peaked at #54 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, making it one of Kay Slay's most successful singles to date. In the beginning of 2014, "Free Again" was released featuring Fat Joe and 50 Cent, which came as a surprise for some seeing as how they had "beef" before, but later reconciled. In 2021 Dj Kay Slay released the track "Rolling 110 Deep" which featured 110 hip hop artists with contributing verses from Ice-T, Shaq, Coke La Rock, KRS-One, Kool G Rap, Ghostface Killah, Roy Jones Jr, Omar Epps, and others.[4]

Illness and death[edit]

In January 2022, DJ Kay Slay's brother said he was in the hospital after contracting COVID-19, but was "in a recovery state".[5] He died in New York from COVID-19 on April 17, 2022, at the age of 55.[6][7]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US US
R&B/HH
The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1 22 4
The Streetsweeper, Vol. 2
  • Released: March 30, 2004
  • Label: Streetsweepers, Columbia
  • Format: CD, download
27 10
More Than Just a DJ
  • Released: February 9, 2010
  • Label: Streetsweepers, E1
  • Format: CD, download
133 29
The Big Brother
  • Released: September 22, 2017
  • Label: Streetsweepers, Empire
  • Format: CD, download
Hip Hop Frontline
  • Released: January 25, 2019
  • Label: Streetsweepers, Empire
  • Format: CD, download
The Soul Controller[8]
  • Released: December 17, 2021
  • Label: Streetsweepers, Empire
  • Format: CD, download

Collaborative albums[edit]

List of collaborative albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US US
R&B/HH
The Champions: North Meets South
(with Greg Street)
  • Released: August 22, 2006
  • Label: Koch
  • Format: CD, download
57 17

Mixtapes[edit]

List of mixtapes, with year released
Title Album details
The Month of the Bad Guy
  • Released: 2003[9]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: CD
The MySpace Maniac
  • Released: October 30, 2006[10]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Sign of the Times
  • Released: January 29, 2007[11]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Sign of the Times 2
  • Released: March 6, 2007[12]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Hate Is the New Love
  • Released: August 24, 2007[13]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The Return of the God
  • Released: December 21, 2007[14]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Blockstars
  • Released: October 18, 2009[15]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Blockstars 2
  • Released: November 16, 2009[16]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The God Is Back!
  • Released: August 24, 2010[17]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Long Live the King!
  • Released: October 11, 2010[18]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Redemption
  • Released: January 14, 2011[19]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The Soul Controller
  • Released: February 6, 2011[20]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The Changing of the Guard
  • Released: July 24, 2012[21]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Return of the Gate Keeper
  • Released: September 8, 2012[22]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Grown Man Hip-Hop
  • Released: November 19, 2012[23]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Grown Man Hip-Hop Part 2 (Sleepin' with the Enemy)
  • Released: January 23, 2013[24]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The Last Champion
  • Released: July 12, 2013[25]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The Rise of a City
  • Released: January 23, 2014[26]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The Last Hip Hop Disciple
  • Released: May 8, 2014[27]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The Original Man
  • Released: November 14, 2014[28]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The Industry Purge
  • Released: April 8, 2015[29]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Shadow of the Sun
  • Released: October 26, 2015[30]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
50 Shades of Slay
  • Released: February 15, 2016[31]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
The Rap Attack
  • Released: July 1, 2016[32]
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: Download
Living Legend
  • Released: March 6, 2020
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: CD, download
Homage
  • Released: November 12, 2020
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: CD, download
Accolades
  • Released: June 25, 2021
  • Label: Streetsweepers
  • Format: CD, download

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
R&B/HH
"Too Much for Me"
(featuring Nas, Baby, Foxy Brown and Amerie)
2003 53 The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1
"Not Your Average Joe"
(featuring Fat Joe, Joe Budden and Joe)
2004 63 The Streetsweeper, Vol. 2
"Who Gives A Fuck Where You From"
(featuring Three 6 Mafia, Lil Wyte and Frayser Boy)
89
"Blockstars"[33]
(featuring Yo Gotti, Jim Jones, Busta Rhymes and Ray J)
2009 More Than Just a DJ
"Thug Luv"[34]
(featuring Maino, Papoose, Red Cafe and Ray J)
2010 112
"60 Second Assassins"
(featuring Busta Rhymes, Layzie Bone, Twista and Jaz-O)
2011 Non-album singles
"The Kings of the Streets"
(featuring DJ Khaled, DJ Drama, DJ Doo Wop and Fly Nate)
75
"About That Life"[35]
(featuring Fabolous, T-Pain, Rick Ross, Nelly and French Montana)
2013 54
"Keep Calm"[36]
(featuring Juicy J, Jadakiss, 2 Chainz and Rico Love)
"Don't Do It"[37]
(featuring Fat Joe, French Montana and Rico Love)
2014
"Hocus Pocus"
(featuring A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Blueface and Moneybagg Yo)
2019
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ivey, Michael (16 June 2006). "DJ Kay Slay and Shaq Seek to Bridge the Gap". nobodysmiling.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b Ogunnaike, Lola (4 May 2003). "Hip-Hop's One-Man Ministry of Insults". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 4 March 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  3. ^ Gary Suarez (January 28, 2019). "DJ Kay Slay Reveals How He Lands So Many Hip-Hop Greats On His Albums". Forbes. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  4. ^ "Video: DJ Kay Slay Ft. Various Artists "Rolling 110 Deep"". Rap Radar. Archived from the original on 2021-06-25. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  5. ^ Price, Joe (January 7, 2022). "DJ Kay Slay Hospitalized Due to COVID-19, Brother Shares Update on His Condition". complex.com. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  6. ^ Eustice, Kyle (April 18, 2022). "Legendary New York City DJ Kay Slay Has Passed Away Following COVID-19 Battle". hiphopdx.com. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  7. ^ "DJ Kay Slay, Fiery Radio Star and Rap Mixtape Innovator, Dies at 55". The New York Times. April 18, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  8. ^ "DJ Kay Slay - The Soul Controller". Apple Music. Archived from the original on December 17, 2021. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  9. ^ "Kay Slay* - The Month Of The Bad Guy". Discogs.com. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  10. ^ "The MySpace Maniac - DJ Kay Slay". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Sign Of The Times - DJ Kay Slay". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Sign Of The Times 2 - DJ Kay Slay". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Hate Is The New Love - DJ Kay Slay". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  14. ^ "The Return Of The God - DJ Kay Slay". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Blockstars - DJ Kay Slay". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Blockstars 2 - DJ Kay Slay". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  17. ^ "The God Is Back! - DJ Kay Slay". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Long Live The King - DJ Kay Slay". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  19. ^ "Redemption". LiveMixtapes. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  20. ^ "The Soul Controller". LiveMixtapes. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  21. ^ "The Changing Of The Guard". LiveMixtapes. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  22. ^ Zach Frydenlund. "Mixtape: DJ Kay Slay "The Return Of The Gatekeeper"". Complex. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Dj Kay Slay - Grown Man Hip Hop". DatPiff. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  24. ^ "DJ Kay Slay - Grown Man Hip Hop Part 2 (Sleepin' With The Enemy)". DatPiff. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  25. ^ "Dj Kay Slay - The Last Champion Hosted by Dj Kay Slay". DatPiff. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  26. ^ Goddard, Kevin (January 23, 2014). "DJ Kay Slay - The Rise of a City". HNHH. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  27. ^ Lilah, Rose (May 8, 2014). "DJ Kay Slay - The Last Hip-Hop Disciple". Hotnewhiphop.com. Archived from the original on May 11, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  28. ^ Goddard, Kevin (5 November 2014). "DJ Kay Slay - The Original Man". HotNewHipHop. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  29. ^ Smith, Trevor (April 8, 2015). "DJ Kay Slay - The Industry Purge". HotNewHipHop. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  30. ^ "DJ Kay Slay - Shadow Of The Sun - Download & Listen [New Mixtape]". Hotnewhiphop. 26 October 2015. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  31. ^ "New Mixtape: DJ Kay Slay '50 Shades Of Slay'". Rapradar.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  32. ^ "Dj Kay Slay - The Rap Attack". Livemixtapes.com. Archived from the original on 30 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  33. ^ "iTunes Store". Itunes.apple.com. 15 September 2009. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  34. ^ "iTunes - Music - Thug Luv (feat. Maino, Papoose, Red Cafe & Ray J) - Single by DJ Kayslay". iTunes. 12 January 2010. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  35. ^ "iTunes - Music - About That Life (feat. Fabolous, T Pain, Rick Ross, Nelly & French Montana) - Single by DJ Kayslay". iTunes. 5 February 2013. Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  36. ^ "iTunes - Music - Keep Calm (feat. Juicy J, Jadakiss, 2 Chainz & Rico Love) - Single by DJ Kayslay". iTunes. 15 October 2013. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  37. ^ "iTunes Store". Itunes.apple.com. 9 September 2014. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.

External links[edit]