Exclusive – Legendary New York City DJ and graffiti writer DJ Kay Slay has passed away HipHopDX can confirm. According to veteran Hip Hop promoter Van Silk, the 55-year-old died on Easter Sunday (April 17), four months after being hospitalized with COVID-19.
“Hip Hop lost a real gem,” Silk tells DX. “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 gonna 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.”
A tweet started making the rounds Sunday night stating, “Legendary NY DJ, DJ Kay Slay has reportedly passed away, according to Wack 100. He was reportedly still recovering after being hospitalized for COVID-19 in December. RIP DJ Kay Slay.”
Legendary NY DJ, DJ Kay Slay has reportedly passed away, according to Wack 100.🕊
He was reportedly still recovering after being hospitalized for COVID-19 in December. RIP DJ Kay Slay.🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/IOyaicsxob
— Hip Hop Ties (@HipHopTiesMedia) April 18, 2022
Wack 100 initially suggested DJ Kay Slay was moments from dying in an Instagram post from December 2021. But Kay Slay’s biological brother Kwame Grayson told DX that was far from the case, explaining, “He’s definitely not going to die. That right there…I’m not going to lie, I was jumping around. I was definitely happy. Kay Slay is a private dude and he didn’t tell anybody in the hospital who he was, and we was kinda getting average treatment. When they found out who he was, that’s when everybody stepped up treatment.
“He was slowly fading away, but God didn’t let that happen. Everything in time and when they found out who he was, they got him powered up again. So he’s up and going. He’s like in a recovery state, but he’s definitely not going to die. You can trust me on that.”
Last week, Wack 100 said he was “still fighting” and needed all the prayers he can get, writing on Instagram, “He’s been off the #ECMO machine for a couple weeks now. Let’s continue our prayers as our brother continues to fight.”
Sadly, he didn’t pull through. HipHopDX sends our condolences to DJ Kay Slay’s family and all those who loved him. Check out a few of the reactions below.
Rest Easy King Dez aka Spade TDS aka DJ Kay Slay a legend in two games: graffiti and DJaying.
F Covid. Rest In Power 👑
— Dante Ross (@DanteRoss) April 18, 2022
Can’t believe I’m typing this. Rest in power DJ Kay Slay. Legend. Fuck! https://t.co/bljTndeQ90
— Statik Selektah (@StatikSelekt) April 18, 2022
R.I.P. DJ KAY SLAY!!!! WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE HOW MUCH OF A LEGEND HE WAS AND WHAT HE MEANT TO OUR CULTURE!!!! 💔💔💔💔💔💔
— Termanology (@TermanologyST) April 18, 2022
— Crime Rhyme Houdini (@JustBlaze) April 18, 2022
RIP DJ KAY SLAY
A true HipHop legend.
A New York legend.
A mixtape king.
long live the streetsweepers.
— juice wayne (@visecs) April 18, 2022
— Thizzler On The Roof (@TheThizzler) April 18, 2022
DJ Kay Slay aka Dez, the legendary graffiti artist turned prolific DJ, reportedly passed away this evening.
He's been an active, vital part of Hip Hop for nearly 40 years. pic.twitter.com/5rQHwgkyFs
— Ruben || Check the Rhyme (@checktherhyme1_) April 18, 2022
Rip Dezzy Dez TFA all stars aka DJ Kay Slay pic.twitter.com/bBIgXdAh3j
— Frank Z / Frank Martin (@HurricaneFranky) April 18, 2022