The death of DJ Kay Slay, who passed away on Easter Sunday (April 17), has rocked the music community. News of the legendary spinner’s death, which was reportedly due to complications related to the COVID-19 diagnosis he received in December 2021, surfaced on Sunday evening, resulting in an outpouring of mourning from the Harlem native’s family, friends, and collaborators. Kay Slay’s family released a statement addressing his passing on Monday (April 18) morning, writing that their hearts were “broken” and thanking the public for their well wishes and support.
Being entrenched in the Hip-Hop world, first as a graffiti artist before cementing himself as one of the most powerful DJs in New York City, DJ Kay Slay’s stature looms large with a number of the biggest figures in the game taking time out to acknowledge his life, impact, and legacy.
Among those who paid their respects to Kay Slay was 50 Cent, who worked alongside the DJ during his own rise to stardom on the mixtape circuit. Posting a photo of himself and Kay Slay with a quote about Slay’s role in his own development as an artist, 50 wrote “Rest In Peace K slay God bless you” in the caption. In addition to Fif, LL Cool J, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Public Enemy, and even former rivals like DJ Clue also paid tribute to Slay with posts on social media, which you can check out below.
— PUBLIC ENEMY (@PublicEnemyFTP) April 18, 2022
RIP DJ KAY SLAY ??
— TAPE TAPE & HOUSE EP NOW PLAYING (@LupeFiasco) April 18, 2022
RIP to a true king, a pioneer in our culture. Thank you for always holding us down and for always showing me and my penmanship love. An icon for real. Rest easy Dez, aka @kingdjkayslay ??? pic.twitter.com/DM3tTovKwv
— Skyzoo (@skyzoo) April 18, 2022
RIP to the DRAMA KING ??????
— BENNY THE BUTCHER (@BennyBsf) April 18, 2022
It’s a bunch of fake ass fraud people running around the culture and DJ KAY SLAY was the total opposite! Real as they come. Rest in Paradise my brother.
— CROOK (@CrookedIntriago) 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
Rest In Peace DJ KAY SLAY pic.twitter.com/EBhjzoMWng
— Locksmith (@dalocksmith) April 18, 2022
Woke up to the awful news that we lost DJ Kay Slay. The man was the human embodiment of hip hop. Graf legend, DJ legend, mixtape legend … so unique, so iconic ,.. when I first got to @hot97 — working with Slay was one of the things that made me so proud to be here .. RIP..
— Peter Rosenberg (@Rosenbergradio) April 18, 2022