R.I.P: Hip-Hop Icon DJ Kay Slay Dead At 55 Following Battle With COVID-19

Legendary New York City DJ and hip-hop icon DJ Kay Slay has passed away at age 55.

R.I.P: Hip-Hop Icon DJ Kay Slay Dead At 55 Following Battle With COVID-19

Legendary New York City DJ and hip-hop icon DJ Kay Slay has passed away at age 55.

2014 Global Spin Awards

Source: Shareif Ziyadat / Getty

The tragic news was first reported by HipHopDX, saying veteran hip-hop promoter Van Silk broke the news. The music legend died on Easter Sunday, April 17, just four months after being hospitalized with COVID-19.

“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,” Silk told DX. “I introduced him to many and we did a lot of things together…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.”

Following Kay Slay’s unfortunate passing, his family issued a statement to Hot 97, asking for privacy during this difficult time.

“Our hearts are broken by the passing of Keith Grayson, professionally known as DJ Kay Slay. 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. In memory of DJ Kay Slay, our family wishes to thank all of his friends, fans, and supporters for their prayers during this difficult time. We ask that you respect our privacy as we grieve this tragic loss.”

Fans first learned the hip-hop icon was sick last year, when Wack 100 suggested Kay Slay was moments from dying in an Instagram post from December 2021. At the time, the DJ’s biological brother Kwame Grayson told Hip Hop DX that was far from the case.

“He’s definitely not going to die. That right there…I’m not going to lie, I was jumping around,” Kwame told the outlet. “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 continued, “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.”

Unfortunately, four months later, he ended up losing his battle.

R.I.P. DJ Kay Slay.