With so many celebrity DJs
trying to be down, there are few that dont really care about having
artist affiliation. It seems as if when Wayne said Thats my DJ
every artist wanted to stake claim to a DJ and every DJ was trying to
find a home.However, when DJ Kay Slay dropped Nas classic dis
Ether, he changed the game! Letting the world know that hot a record
is just that, DJ Kay Slay proved to the world that he is a DJ to and
for all who go hard in the Hip-Hop world. The Drama King is such the
suitable name for this Bronx native who has had a career as a DJ spanning
over the course of 20 years. Artists have sought after Kay Slay to drop
battles and diss records alike. As hes clearly said Dont blame
me, Im just a referee.
His cutthroat and unapologetic
attitude towards the music industry is also a sure attribute of his
longevity. As a DJ, he not only knows the worth of an artist, but he
knows his worth as well. Unfortunately the music industry does not also
see things this way. Without people selling records, this industry is
caught between a rock and a hard place. However, whether a record gets
sold, downloaded or bootlegged it needs a DJ for it to seriously reach
Clearly, some artists and music
insiders have completely forgotten the DJ and their contributions. While
in St. Louis at the 2008 Technology Retreat and Conference Kay Slay
took the time to speak with AllHipHop.com, Hell, he actually put us
all on to some game. Touching abrasively on everything from advice to
fellow DJs, his take on the use of technology, and how he handles
disrespect it is no wonder why he is known as The Drama King.
How do you feel about being a part of the DJ Technology Retreat and
Kay Slay: I mean I’m the type of person
I like coming on board when things are just jumping off especially when
it’s involving good people. Thats my thing, breaking new artists
so on and so forth. I’m just happy to be here when it first jumped off.
AllHipHop.com: Can you see yourself in any of these young, up and coming DJs?
Kay Slay: Their spirit. When I first
started DeeJaying it was a whole different vibe. The scenario was different.
It wasnt about the money. It was just about having something to do
in the hood. We ain’t have nothing do where I grew up at, things were
kinda fucked up.AllHipHop.com: Referring to programs such as Serato Scratch Live, do you feel like
scratching and mixing is going toward a positive direction? Can you
Kay Slay: The skills and the talent,
everything is there. People need to use the 1200s and the tables instead
of that Serato s**t. Thats contributing to the death of the
AllHipHop.com: What do you feel are the pros and cons with using Serato Scratch Live?
Kay Slay: The pro is that if its a
wack motherf****r that dont know how to DeeJay you can look like you
know what you doing. One the cons is that real DJs can be replaced by
anybody and not get their bread.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think that more DJs should resort back to vinyl? What’s your
take on the whole use of a laptop while DeeJaying?
Kay Slay: Like I said, I dont wanna
shatter anybody’s dream or bash anyone. But I’m just saying that the
whole thing is somewhat wasted. Computers crash! I’ve seen computers
crash and then people will start to get frustrated at the parties.
Its taking away the originality. Jam Master Jay used turntables.
Grandmaster Flash, Africa Bambatta, they are the fathers of Hip-Hop.
They’re probably adjusting but I dont think that they’re entirely
comfortable with how things are going.
AllHipHop.com: Labels aren’t really vouching for DJs that make mixtapes anymore, what’s
your take on that?
Kay Slay: Everybody knows that the cats
from the labels are pieces of s**t. They are down for anything that
can benefit them. If it’s not benefiting them then they gonna back out.
Anybody that looks toward labels for anything besides using them the
way that they use you, you in for a rude awakening.
AllHipHop.com: Without saying any names, do feel like certain A&Rs should’ve backed
DJs like Drama?
Kay Slay: Of course they should’ve stood
up its mandatory. Not just the A&R’s but everybody should have stood
up, CEOs, everybody who makes money off of Hip-Hop in the streets should’ve
AllHipHop.com: Are you somewhat adamant about putting mixtapes out for that reason?
Kay Slay: I moved from the mixtape scene
years ago. I just put out promotional tapes just to showcase what I’m
doing. But its been a minute since I went hard with the whole mixtape
game. For one, a lot of DJs dont really know what its based upon.
They take 10 records off the internet, put them together and then say
they have a mixtape. They dont know the essence of trying to get
an exclusive and trying to have records that nobody else has. Its
like since my man Justo passed away (rest in peace) the mixtape game
kind of diminished with him.
AllHipHop.com: Does the fact that people aren’t really buying CDs affect you in any
way as a DJ?
Kay Slay: We all gonna feel the tension
from that. We all work with artists. We got love for them and we want
to see them do well. I blame it all on the internet.
AllHipHop.com: Do you see the positive aspect of the
internet? Such as the ability to sample music before you buy or are
you just seeing the negative?
AllHipHop.com: The internet is just messing
the game up period. Anybody can be anybody. A dude can really be a girl
or vice versa. I can take a picture of the most thorough nigga in the
world and put a wig on him and people believe it! Peoples albums
are getting bootlegged overseas. They over in London bootlegging you
because the UK version is let out before it let out over here. Its
AllHipHop.com: So you dont even think its good for exposure?
Kay Slay: Exposure should come through
the album sales. Internet should only be used for website promotions
or if you have a single out and you’re promoting it. It shouldnt
be used for unreleased music. Labels need to work and do what they used
to do before the internet existed. Stop using the internet as a crutch!
AllHipHop.com: What do you look for
in new artists whose music that you break?
Kay Slay: Not just the record, its attitude
and aggression. Just like any rapper that I see here (St. Louis) that
doesnt live from here I have no choice but to respect him and give
him a shot. He’s taking his craft seriously. A lot of people will sit
where they’re at and wait for something to come to them. If I see somebody
go to the game I will be more obliged to help them even if he’s wack.
I’m giving them a shot because they’re trying.
AllHipHop.com: When it comes to doing drops do think that artists need to be more willing
to do drops?
Kay Slay: I would never want somebody
to do something they dont want to do. I think that they should do
drops because they want to. It should be sincere but they are some funny
acting people. We make the artists, not the other way around.
AllHipHop.com: Have people forgotten that?
Kay Slay: Everybody forgot that. Rappers
make more money than DJs so they think they’re the epitome but what
they fail to realize is that every DJ you know thats legendary is
still eating. Rappers have like a 3 year window to get in the game,
get what they can from it and they’re finished. Some people like Jay-Z,
Busta Rhymes and Ice Cube have longevity in this. A lot of these artists
won’t. We always gonna be there.
AllHipHop.com: What do think that DJs need to do in order to brand themselves?
Kay Slay: Find a niche and run with it,
you cant follow anybody elses move.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of DJs are from small towns which makes it hard for them to gain
exposure. Do you feel like these individuals should move to a
Kay Slay: Dont fake it make it. When
you do its a fad and its played out. Then you try to go back you’re
cover is blown! Do what you do. You have to market the artist.
Events, flyers whatever you need to do.
AllHipHop.com: What could stations do to back DJs?
Kay Slay: Radio is going to be radio.
Thats why you have mix shows and satellite radio like Sirius. I have
a show on Sirius called Shade 45.
AllHipHop.com: What is the main thing that
an artist may have the tendency to do that pisses DJs off?
Kay Slay: Aww! When they try to act like
you have to play their record. Never try to be aggressive. There are
certain DJs that they can do that to. Other ones, you’re going to get
your s**t knocked out!
AllHipHop.com: I heard that!
What should artists do to get themselves in with DJs?
Kay Slay: Artists should always be humble
and give listening parties. Do what you see Jus Bleezy doing. There
are artists that have gone platinum 10 times already and have never
brought cats to their own city.
AllHipHop.com: Are there any new DJs that
you think can hang with you and those from your generation?
Kay Slay: None of these DJs can hang.
They come in the game through the battle form. They dont have the
format to compete with the old school dude. These dudes can scratch and
all of that but an old school dude can pull out one record and shut your
whole show down.
AllHipHop.com: What’s your take on the
lack of versatility in the music thats played? Should there be more
of a range?
Kay Slay: A lot of people dont really
know what Hip-Hop is all about. They’re doing things for the wrong reasons.
They think women, money and cars. If you cant do something for the
love if it then you’re just wasting your time.
AllHipHop.com: With the whole “Hip-Hop
Is Dead” campaign. Do you feel like the DJs could do more on their
part to bring the music back?
Kay Slay: We can only DJ what the label
is putting out from the artists. We play what they give us. For a person
that doesnt have access to artists such as I, they have to take what
they can get. It starts at the top.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of times the
tracks on the album are hotter than the singles. Should DJs stick with
what the single is or play what they want?
Kay Slay: If its a hit, its a hit.
But then you gotta play something that you feeling but you have to be
willing to play a hit.
AllHipHop.com: As far as remixes are concerned,
they’re not like they used to be. Should DJs be more eager to do more
Kay Slay: It only makes sense to do a
remix when it’s hotter than the original. The whole purpose of the remix
is to be better than the original.