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DJ Kay Slay: Beats, Beef and Business

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AllHipHop.com: How does it feel to be four albums deep in the game?

DJ Kay Slay: I mean at the end of the day it’s a blessing. Lot of cats can’t get one out. AllHipHop.com: You have an all-star line up on this, Drake, Mr. Fab, San Quinn, Papoose, Ray-J and a lot of others. How did you get so many varied artists? DJ Kay Slay: My whole MO is to try and help brothers on the come up. Pretty much down the line, they get successful, they pay homage back. Most artists came through my lane at some point or another. So when I reach out, I really don’t have the same problems most people might have. I never turned nobody away, even if It’s an artist I don’t agree with. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I might not like it but somebody else might. AllHipHop.com: Well how do you decided what goes on. There’s a vary good representation of Hip-Hop on the album, from the East Coast, to the West coast and down South. DJ Kay Slay: I listen to who can spit. This is what I do. I’m not so big on who can make a big record. Them dudes might not be talked about 10, 15, 20 years from now. They could be one hit wonders. I’m more interested in the dudes that are gonna go down in the history books. Dudes like Grandmaster Caz. Caz and the Cold Crush brothers had hot joints, but they never had big big records like Melle Mel and Grandmaster Flash and them. But there’s no way you won’ t mention his name as one of the greatest MC’s. So I go for the brothers that can spit. I listen to the vocals and how a cat handles a beat. I normally give a cat a New York beat, like a Jay-Z joint. And ask them to freestyle. That will bring out their talent to see if they can spit, or if their one of them “create a record guys.” AllHipHop.com: So this coming through E-1. How is it working with them? DJ Kay Slay: I mean as long as you understand what the essence of what independence means, you good. As long as you know it means “do it yourself,” you’re good (laughs). Don’t think that you got a million dudes operating for you and making moves, you have to make them moves yourself, you gotta push yourself and they will meet you half way. They have some of the best radio guys, like Shadow Stokes and Dee [Sonaram]. If you show and prove, then they gonna do what they gotta do. I’m good with them over there, I aint got no complaints. AllHipHop.com: The album was delayed a few times, it was supposed to drop in October, but it’s just getting to stores today. Was that because Plies refused, or couldn’t be in the video? DJ Kay Slay: See me being a real n**ga, I don’t want to sit here and whine and cry and say Plies f**ked anything up. He did alter my moves. It was the five weeks I spent waiting for him to do what he said he was going to do. Then I had to hit Yo Gotti and that took a week to get on and shoot the video. But me blaming him, nah. Whatever’s gonna happen is gonna happen. That comes with the atmosphere. AllHipHop.com: But you took him off the album too. He’s not on it right? DJ Kay Slay: Mos def, I put Yo Gotti. Why wouldn’t I when he came and put his verse down and did the video? But like I said, I aint gonna sit here and b**ch. He did what he did, I said what I had to say, and good luck to that brother. AllHipHop.com: But wait, he put out that track “Letter to the Industry” right after your statement. It sounded like he was talking about you. DJ Kay Slay: Tell me one line where he was talking about me. AllHipHop.com: Where he said he wasn’t scared to come to New York to shoot the video with security. You said in the interview that he needed all that security, so it seemed like he was replying. DJ Kay Slay: The police protection, I think he was more or less talking about another situation with another artist. There was never a situation about plies coming to New York. He was shooting his video in Tampa, and his people requested from the label that he needed police, not New York. SO it was never a threat to me and I didn’t take it offensive. I wasn’t even going to be there when Plies was going to the part in Tampa. Atlantic said he was real particular about the area, and if there area wasn’t safe, then he would not gonna do it and he preferably liked armed and uniform police and that was through Atlantic. I had love for Plies, I wasn’t a threat. That’s how I knew it wasn’t direct to me. AllHipHop.com: I get it. But there’s another part, where he says another n**ga want me on his album and “paperwork,” seemed like it was aimed at you. DJ Kay Slay: I’m glad you say this so I can clear it up. Another reason why I wasn’t offended, is because Plies was cleared for the album. The record was spinning on the radio and we were doing the video. I could have kept him on the album if I wanted. But I keep it real, I was showing him love on my show. Time to clear the record, Atlantic cleared it. I know you know [Michael] Kyser. It wasn’t about the money, they just stopped answering the phone my dude. That’s how that whole situation went. But I am past that. But just to clear it up, he was good for the album, that’s why I didn’t take any of it personal. If I did, I would have had Papoose go at him and show him what rhyming is really about. But for some reason when I’m right, s**t always spins around and looks like I’m wrong or the troublemaker or bully. I’m almost 44 years-old. I’m not gonna be squabbling with some kid. If he ever needs me, the love aint gonna be there just like it wasn’t there for me and that’s that. AllHipHop.com: Well there’s no doubt that Big Lou, from Camden has been going hard at you too in songs and interviews. He claims your blackballing him. DJ Kay Slay: This is all I’m going to say to him. He came to me for help, he lied, had another record deal. The guy sent cease and desist letters to me Hot 97, my lawyers and everybody, for me to stop playing his music or participating in any kind of activities with him or I would be in court. If you want all that for your site, I have it all. After that I had to leave it alone. Blackball him? Blackball what? He wasn’t honest. I had love for him, but he had another deal. AllHipHop.com: How are you handling your business on this album? I see there was a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against you over your Streetsweepers Volume 2, because of the sample in the G-Unit song “Angels Around Me.” DJ Kay Slay: To be exact, I bought a record from G-Unit. Sha Money. I guess they produced the track. The DJ Twinz produced that track. I can’t get sued. I never paid these artists, Sony did. Even if they paid Sha Money for the track, they are still supposed to make sure the samples are cleared. My name is mentioned because it’s on my album. At the end of the day, I didn’t do nothing to them n**gas. All I did was bought the track, it was a finished song. A lot of these little bulls**t situations I found myself in, the s**t could have always been resolved through a phone call. That album didn’t do more than 200,000 units. It has 90 something artists and around 18 producers. AllHipHop.com: Business wise, you are doing a lot on your own. How is Straight Stuntin doing? DJ Kay Slay: Everybody knows me, my whole career, I like to give a platform to new cats trying to get on. The majority of rappers that get on are male. There really isn’t a platform for women to do anything. And in the hood, every n**ga wanna be an athlete, a rapper or a big time drug dealer. Not to many n**gas wanna be doctors, lawyers or firemen. Sorry to say, we do need them, but that’s not it. The women want to be models, an actress, or the wife of an athlete or a big time drug dealer. I figured the modeling thing would be simpler if I gave them a platform to show their talents and It would be good to come through a magazine. It’s female DJ’s, rappers, models, adult entertainers. No requirements, just come correct. Everything is run right like any other magazine you see. AllHipHop.com: Why did you decided to do a magazine. Has technology impacted the way you do business? DJ Kay Slay: I didn’t do an online magazine because that’s how you lose. This downloading s**t f**ked up the whole music industry. The last thing you want to do is put it online cause people won’t purchase it. You can’t bootleg a magazine. The time that it takes to do it and the money, a n**ga aint gonna take the chance to do it. The only way you could lose if you did an online version. I don’t care if you have to pay for it, a motherf**ker will figure out how to get that s**t for free. It’s a gift and curse.

DJ K-Slay’s More Than Just A DJ is in stores now.

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