The funeral of the legendary DJ Kay Slay, who passed away on Sunday (April 17) following a lengthy battle with COVID-19, will be held this Sunday (April 24) at the famed Apollo Theater in the late spinner’s hometown of Harlem, N.Y. A public viewing and memorial for fans and supporters to attend will begin at 10 a.m. that day and end at noon.
Slay, who was 55 years old at the time of his passing, will be memorialized throughout the service, which will include words of welcome, prayers, scripture readings, musical selections, formal readings, a eulogy, and a tribute to his life and legacy.
One of the most respected and decorated DJs in Hip-Hop history, Kay Slay’s obituary highlights his rise from the slums of East Harlem, through his impact as a pioneering graffiti artist, to international fame as a staple on the mixtape circuit and his presence on New York City radio. “Keith Grayson, P.K.A. DJ Kay Slay, was born August 14, 1966 in New York City and raised in East Harlem,” reads the obituary. “As a child, he was drawn to disco, dancing the Hustle; when early Hip Hop DJs began turning breakbeats from those songs into proto-rap music, he traveled to the Bronx to observe and participate in the rising culture.”
“Keith would hop on the 6 train and go up to the Bronx River Center to see Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation rock. Keith took up the affiliated art forms of breakdancing and graffiti, even casually rapping with his friends, mastering every element of Hip Hop culture. Street art became his chief passion, first under the tag Spade 429 and later Dez TFA, which he shortened to Dez.”
“Amid the city’s crackdown on graffiti. Dez took the name Kay Slay and developed a fascination with turntables. In 1989, after serving a brief stint of incarceration, Keith found solace in the Nation of Gods & Earths and fully immersed himself into his craft of performing as a DJ and releasing exclusives mixtapes.”
VIBE sends our condolences to DJ Kay Slay’s family and friends.