DJ Kay Slay has died, aged 55.
The long-time HOT 97 DJ - who hosted the ‘The Drama Hour’ for more than 20 years - passed away from complications from COVID-19, according to the New York based radio station.
His family said in a statement on Sunday (17.04.22): “A dominant figure in hip hop culture with millions of fans worldwide, DJ Kay Slay will be remembered for his passion and excellence with a legacy that will transcend generations.”
The radio station added: “Hot 97 is shocked and saddened by the loss of our beloved DJ Kay Slay.”
The disc jockey - real name Keith Grayson- was raised in Harlem amongst the blossoming of the genre of hip-hop. After becoming a teenage graffiti artist, he was featured in the 1983 documentary ‘Style Wars’.
Following this, Keith began selling bootleg mixtapes on street corners in the 90s. In 2003, he dropped his debut album, ‘The Street Sweepers, Vol 1,’ and went on to work with a number of prominent rappers, including Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes.
Van Silk, a music promoter and friend of Keith said that the world "lost a real dedicated person to the culture of Hip Hop."
"My dear brother is gone. I’ve known him since he was 16 years old. He was my little brother. I introduced him to many and we did a lot of things together," he told the site.
"We last talked December because we were finishing up the 200 rolling deep project. He was gonna do his video part with MC Sha-Rock."
Lupe Fiasco offered his respects, saying: "RIP DJ KAY SLAY”.