DJ Kay Slay, Hip-Hop Pioneer and Radio Host, Dies at 55 After COVID Battle

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DJ Kay Slay, radio host, record executive and Hip-Hip pioneer, has died. He was 55.

Born Keith Grayson, Slay died Sunday evening after a four-month battle with COVID-19, according to a statement from his family posted by New York Hip-Hop station Hot 97. The news was first reported by People.

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

Slay released his first project, “The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1,” in 2003; his 2021 record “The Soul Controller” was released in 2021 and would be his last. He was part of New York City’s thriving street mixtape culture in the ’90s, with tracks featuring fellow artists Eminem, 50 Cent, and Jay-Z.

He was also one of New York City’s most prominent graffiti artists and hosted a longstanding slot on HOT 97 with the “Drama Hour.”

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