Hip-Hop Icon Keith Grayson, Known As DJ Kay Slay, Passes Away At Age 55

Hip-Hop Icon Keith Grayson, Known As DJ Kay Slay, Passes Away At Age 55

Keith Grayson, better known in the entertainment industry and culture as DJ Kay Slay, has reportedly died at age 55. The legendary New York City DJ passed away on Easter after he battled Covid-19 for four months.

Harlem-raised DJ Kay Slay carved out his own lane, making a name for himself since the genesis of Hip-Hop in the early 1980s as a graffiti artist named “Dez.”

Throughout his unique career path, the street artist turned DJ and producer gave popular hits their stamp on his own collaborative projects featuring notable rappers like Dave East, Styles P, and also Benny the Butcher. Kay Slay’s major label debut in 2003, The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1 reached number four on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

The famous disc jockey built a decades-long home at New York City’s inaugural hip-hop radio station Hot 97. Kay Slay also ran the hip-hop magazine Straight Stuntin’. The Drama King had a lot of art to give and definitely gave his all.


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A post shared by DJ KaySlay (@djkayslay)

DJ Kay Slay Passes Away After Long Battle With Covid-19

Back in January, Wack 100 took to Instagram to give a grave update on DJ Kay Slay’s health. There’d been previous reports of him battling COVID-19. At the time, Wack 100 shared a photo of his friend with a caption calling for prayers.

“Pray for my brotha @djkayslay It’s not looking good,” Wack wrote. “He might be mad at me for this those that know Slay but he needs all the support he can get.  Been 14 days fighting Covid and he’s just [been] put on a ventilator. Keep him in your prayers Please.”



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A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom)

Wack’s latest update on DJ Kay Slay’s health came a few days ago via another photo post of the Drama King.

UPDATE @djkayslay still fighting. He’s been off the ECMO machine for couple weeks now. Let’s continue our prayers as our brother continues to fight,” Wack 100 wrote

Family, friends, and fans will greatly miss DJ Kay Slay. The Grayson family and Hot 97 released separate statements on his passing early Monday via Hot 97. 

Statement From The Grayson Family

“Our hearts are broken by the passing of Keith Grayson, professionally known as DJ Kay Slay,” the statement read. “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.”

They continued, “In memory of DJ Kay Slay, our family wishes to thank all of his friends, fans, and supporters for their prayers and well wishes during this difficult time.

We ask that you respect our privacy as we grieve this tragic loss.”

Statement From Hot 97 
“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, The Streetsweeper 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.”

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