The late great DJ Kay Slay was laid to rest on Sunday after a memorial service at New York City’s Apollo Theater. The Hot 97 host, born Keith Grayson, was hospitalized with Covid-10 in January. He passed away in earlier this month at just 55 years old.
After the service, a horse-drawn carriage carrying his coffin left from the Apollo and stopped by the East Harlem block where Grayson grew up. Hundreds of people, including rappers, family, friends and fans, paid their respect to the icon.
Artists like Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Papoose, Remy Ma, Eric B, Fat Joe, Pete Nice and Kool DJ Red Alert were in attendance to celebrate the life of Grayson and the imprint he has left on the hip hop world. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5's Mellie Mel shared a few words during the service, standing in front of a rose covered photo of Grayson and gold coffin could be seen in the background.
The prominent DJ gained traction in New York as a teenage graffiti artist under the moniker Dez TFA in the 1980s. His work in Harlem has become renowned. Grayson appeared in several exhibits and documentaries about graffiti art, including the 1983 documentary “Style Wars.”
He started selling mixtapes in the early ’90s and released his first studio album, “The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1,” in 2003. Grayson released several more albums and worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Nas and Jadakiss.
During Grayson’s illustrious career, he became head of artists and repertoire for Shaquille O’Neal’s label DEJA34, the CEO of Straight Stuntin’ Magazine and A&R of Ray J’s 2008 album “All I Feel.” Grayson has also been credited for bringing Fat Joe and 50 Cent together on his 2014 single “Free Again.” Needless to say, the mark Grayson has left on hip hop is indelible.