Hip-hop pioneer DJ Kay Slay has passed away after a lengthy battle with COVID-19 at age 55.
The Straight Stuntin’ magazine founder died on Easter after a four-month hospital stay following contracting the dangerous virus. Since his diagnosis, there were several reports of his condition improving. However, it appears that the unpredictable illness took its toll. His family confirmed his passing in an official statement Monday.
An official statement from The Grayson Family on the passing of Keith Grayson aka DJ Kay Slay: pic.twitter.com/nUZn55k3yh— HOT 97 (@HOT97) April 18, 2022
Kay Slay has spent decades establishing his name in hip-hop, becoming one of the most sought-after DJs in the music industry. He was a staple at New York’s Hot 97 radio station, where he hosted “The Drama Hour” for more than twenty years.
The tributes from fans, friends, and key figures in hip-hop poured in as news of his untimely death spread.
FUCKKKK 😢😢— First Class 🏁 (@1DJFirstClass) April 18, 2022
RIP DJ KAY SLAY! 55 Years Old Man SMH pic.twitter.com/nqRI7tdO0w
RIP DJ Kay Slay— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) April 18, 2022
Dez. The Drama King. Mr. Smack Your Favorite DJ.
Not only did he premiere “Ether,” host Dipset’s first mixtape and unleash countless songs and freestyles. But he was also featured in the movie ‘Style Wars’ in 1983. A true pioneer, innovator and legend. 🕊 pic.twitter.com/Bm2gzfEGHK
We lost one of the most SOLID MFs in HipHop.. I’ve been checking in on him his whole struggle in the Hospital. I honestly thought he was gonna pull through. This truly Hurts… F Covid. RIP to the Drama King 👑 #Kay Slay pic.twitter.com/5MyanPPPWo— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) April 18, 2022
“Rest In Peace to the Legend DJ Kay Slay. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the culture,” tweeted former G-Unit rapper Lloyd Banks.
Rest In Peace to the Legend DJ Kay Slay Thank you for everything you’ve done for the culture,my condolences 💐 to his family— Lloydbanks (@Lloydbanks) April 18, 2022
His longtime professional family at Hot 97 released a statement, calling Kay Slay a “cultural icon.”
A Word From The HOT 97 Family: 🕊️— HOT 97 (@HOT97) April 18, 2022
RIP DJ Kay Slay pic.twitter.com/TawxjRSSRh
Throughout his illustrious career, Kay Slay has worked with Fat Joe, Ja Rule, 50 Cent, Jadakiss, and even Shaquille O’Neal on his short-lived record label DEJA34.
Let’s continue to keep the fans, and loved ones of DJ Kay Slay in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.