DJ Kay Slay, a pioneering hip-hop icon, and one of the most prominent disc jockeys of hip hop passed away on April 17, 2022. He was 55. 

Kay Slay whose real name was Keith Grayson, died Sunday evening after a four-month battle with COVID-19. The news of his death sent sorrow and pain all across the world as people woke up to this sad news.

HipHopDX promoter and long-time friend Van Silk stated  “Hip Hop lost a real gem, 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. We last talked in December because we were finishing up the 200 rolling deep project.”

“He was going to do his video part with MC Sha-Rock. From the mixtapes to helping him launch Straight Stuntin’ magazine and the whole What The Science project, the world not only lost a real dedicated person to the culture of Hip Hop but a source of bridging the gap in Hip Hop. I’m gonna miss my little brother.”

In January, DJ Kay Slay was hospitalized with COVID-19. At the time, Kay Slay’s brother, Kwame Grayson informed everyone that his brother was “in a recovery state” but “getting stronger.” 

Courtesy of Josh Dickey

A week prior to his death, celebrity manager and business executive Wack 100 had revealed on Instagram that the musician was “still fighting” and needed all the prayers he could get.

Courtesy of Fox 5 New York

A number of fellow artists and industry figures have shared tribute messages following news of DJ Kay Slay’s death, The moniker he took on which was “The Drama King” made Dj Kay Slay a household name. His remembrances of the decades of artistry that make up his legacy will not be forgotten.

Hot 97 issued a statement. “Hot 97 is shocked and saddened by the loss of our beloved DJ Kay Slay. We cherish the many memories created through the twenty-plus years he dedicated to the ‘Drama Hour.’

A cultural icon, Kay Slay was more than just a DJ, to us he was family and a vital part of what made Hot 97 the successful station it is today. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and fans worldwide and we will always and forever celebrate The Drama King’s legacy.”