NEW YORK – Hip Hop pioneer DJ Kay Slay has died after a long battle with COVID-19.
The native Harlem, whose real name was Keith Grayson, started his career as a graffiti artist.
He later became DJ and then record manager.
DJ Kay Slay worked on Hot 97 for more than 20 years. The radio station issued a statement saying the staff were shocked to call him an “important part” in making the radio station a success.
“We cherish the many memories created through the more than 20 years he dedicated to ‘Drama Hour’. A cultural icon, Kay Slay was more than just a DJ, to us he was family.”
His family confirmed he died Sunday after a four-month battle with COVID-19.
He was 55 years old.
DJ Kay Slay had released four studio albums, beginning with 2003’s “The Streetweeper, Vol. 1.”
DJ Kay Slay ‘rose through the ranks by judging the biggest MC fights on his Streetsweeper mixtapes. Known as Drama King, Kay Slay grew up in Harlem, and made a name for herself as a DJ.
His biography on Hot 97 said that he signed his first deal with Violator records with the late Chris Lighty and released his first two albums, Street Sweepers Volumes 1 & 2, through Columbia / Sony Records.
He also starred in the 1983 hip-hop documentary Style Wars.
DJ KaySlay joins DJ KaySlay Album Listening Party at Quad Studios on June 22, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez / WireImage,)