Throughout Hip-Hop, there are record executives and several rappers that have instilled fear in the hearts of many. Behind the turntables, the same may be true of Kay Slay. Still, The Drama King didnt use those tactics to get into the industry. Instead, the East Harlem native has been involved in Hip-Hop for four decades, and four elements.
As the Hot97 DJ will be quick to defend, perhaps the stigma behind The Drama King, is a misconception. After all, Kay Slay has been a hero to the unsigned rapper. He was there for 50 Cent, and today, hes backing Papoose into his own rise to fame. The mixtape veteran holds it down for his community, the old school, and his art.
AllHipHop.com: I guess lets start with being The Drama King, whats with all the drama?
Kay Slay: Well really, its more-so drama in the music because its just like everybody plays the political game and when it comes to certain people, Im just the type of person that felt like this is Hip-Hop, and if you in it, you in it. And if somebody challenges you to a battle, you supposed to pick up your pen and pad and go to work.
AllHipHop.com: Listening to some of the stuff youve said to cats on mixtapes though, it would appear that you get pleasure form going at these cats the way you do. Is it all just business for you or do you just like pissing people off?
Kay Slay: I mean Im into Hip-Hop, understand? So if everybodys in this game for all the right reasons, then they know the rules of the game. Im around a lot of different types of artists, and I know a lot of them dont really know what this whole thing here is about. I know some of them dont know who who Kool Moe Dee is or Busy Bee; they dont know about their battle and if they dont know, thats their problem. But as far as Im concerned, Im just here to do what I was put here to do.
AllHipHop.com: So is it okay for an artist just coming out to go after a top dog like Jay-Z in the spirit of battling?
Kay Slay: Nah, nah, nah, I dont cosign that. Stay in your zone.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, but if this person feels like he can hold his own and he wants to call out Jay or whomever, what is earning your stripes?
Kay Slay: Earning your stripes is just like if a new website came out yesterday, and they was sayin that they were number one and AllHipHop sucks, and nobody should f**k with yall. You know damn good and well that if yall respond to that, yall are putting them on the same level as yall, so you gonna ignore it. So I feel like its a due-paying process, nobody should be able to just come out and go after Jay-Z, Im not honoring that.
AllHipHop.com: Although I dont agree with all the beefing, I understand it as a proponent of Hip-Hop
Kay Slay: Now see when you say beef, its not beef. Beef is like what Biggie told people. Beef is when you cant take your daughter to school cause you dont want her to get hurt because of you. Beef is when you have to move your mother out of an area where people know her. Thats beef. I dont know what this is that cats are doing cause Number One: If it was beef, you wouldnt be talking about it giving statements to the police and dry snitching and Number Two: All you gotta do is show up, you know where the show is gonna be, go to the show, and take they head off. You know the s**t aint beef, its drama, its entertainment.
AllHipHop.com: But how do you keep situations from escalating?
Kay Slay: I mean, whatever is gonna be in life, is gonna be. None of our s**t is more powerful than the Creator, so if thats what he put in your destiny, then thats what he put there.
AllHipHop.com: Going back to snitching for a minute, isnt everything said on wax about what goes on in the streets dry-snitching?
Kay Slay: Thats true, but if dont attach names to it, and you just talking about life experience, then it is what it is. But once you start having peoples names and begin to get intricate with details where people can figure out who youre talking about, then thats not cool.
AllHipHop.com: So lets play devils advocate and say if someone were snitching in the name of justice and doing whats right in order to solve a crime then why isnt it okay?
Kay Slay: You cant confuse a civilian with somebody from the hood. You could be from any borough and take a piss on the street, and n***as would walk by like, Whatever. But if you do that shit on 52nd Street and 5th Avenue, a white man will calmly go tell a police officer, Hey, that man is urinating on the corner, and hes gonna be able to go back to his neighborhood and not have people care that he told. But in the hood, somebody can violate another individual and that person can go to his office and crack his head and keep it moving, you just gotta stay strapped because when he sees you again hes gonna get back at you. You try to go to a record label and crack somebodys head and that guy is gonna call the cops and hes not gonna worry about what you say about this that or the other so you really cant confuse civilian life with life on the streets.
AllHipHop.com: Whats your favorite old and new school battle?
Kay Slay: I would have to say Force MDs [vs.] Cold Crush Brothers. More recently, it would have to be Jay and Nas, because it was more on the Hip-Hop side than drama.
AllHipHop.com: Do you ever feel caught in the middle as a DJ?
Kay Slay: Naw, I never feel like Im in the middle.
AllHipHop.com: I dont mean in the middle like youre the cause, but like you have to choose sides?
Kay Slay: Im never in the middle. This is a business, ya understand? Its just like if Im disagreeing with a DJ, theyre not gonna say Im not gonna give this record to this DJ because hes beefing with Kay Slay, thats bulls**t. Theyre going to give the record and the beat to the DJ cause they have nothing to do with it. These are grown ass men.
Allhiphop.com- Yes we all miss Justo, Ive been hearing a lot of banter about things going on as far as the difficulty of putting on this years awards.
Kay Slay- Yea, I dont know whats going on, I just know Im gonna support it when it happens. I just think its too many people trying to be involved and I dont really want to speak on it because I love Justo and his family might feel a certain way about things being ran by certain people and they want it to go one way and I think Titanic and them want to do it another way but its so much confusion that Im just kinda leaning back.
AllHipHop.com: everybody knows DJ Kay Slay, what is something they might not know about you, any hobbies?
Kay Slay: I think [some] people know that I draw. Thats my alter-ego, graffiti, drawing, all that. When I was younger, that was my craft.
AllHipHop.com: What types of things do you draw?
Kay Slay: Characters, all types of things whatever comes to my mind.
AllHipHop.com: So does that mean we have some animation coming?
Kay Slay: I aint into it like that, but I still go out to the park where we got this wall we started back in 81 called The Graffiti Hall of Fame, and I still go once a year and link up until some old heads I used to run with, and lace the wall. Other than that, its not enough hours in the day for me to do that – especially how deep into the game I am right now.
AllHipHop.com: Totally off topic, if you were a superhero what would be your superhero power?
Kay Slay: To take away all the poverty in the hood.
AllHipHop.com: Are you involved in your community?
Kay Slay: Yes, I have a tournament that I do in the projects for the kids eight [years old] and up. I get em trophies and everything, and theres no losers.
AllHipHop.com: I like that, thats important that everyone gets rewarded.
Kay Slay: Yeah, I do it every year for the kids. I invite some rappers and stuff down to get involved. Last year, Ron Artest came down. This year its gonna be August 19th, at East River Housing [Projects] on 151st Avenue. Its all day event. I have a lot of different things going on and Ive been doing it the past nine years, so its something that people know that I do.
AllHipHop.com: Its important for our kids to have something going on in the midst of all this other crap going on in the world including wars and all that. Do you know anyone in Iraq?
Kay Slay: Yeah, I know a few people. I have a friend whos a Sergeant, who goes back and forth.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think we should be over there?
Kay Slay: I dont really speak on it much, but when you get down to the real s**t going on, hell no we shouldnt be there. But if our kids gotta be there then these people in Congress and the White House need to have their kids over there too. But since none of them will ever go, why is it that we gotta send all our little black sons and daughters to fight in a war thats being fought for no reason? I dont see the reasoning behind that but now its to a point where if they pull out, they look stupid, so theyre like, F**k it. How long are yall gonna be out there letting people die? When theres no more soldiers to fight? Then that means we lost.
AllHipHop.com: Lets bring it back to our streets. How do you know an artists like a Papoose has it before hes on?
Kay Slay: I just got a good ear. And with him, its like if rappers are on a topic and hes coming at me with a different topic, he was saying stuff people needed to hear. It was also his intellect and things I seen early on and I said all I gotta do is get this kid to listen to me and Im gonna make him big.
AllHipHop.com: Whats the biggest misconception that people have about you?
Kay Slay: That Im a trouble maker.
AllHipHop.com: Could it be the title Drama King?
Kay Slay: Thats exactly what it is, but anybody who knows me knows how I move, I dont like movin with a lot of people. Number One: 99% of time when people see me, Im by myself and [Number] Two: Im just like anybody else. If you do something to me, I am going to attack. But with my situation, its more [that] you hear what I did, but you dont hear why I did it. But trust me, its all a reaction. Im a grown ass man – I dont just run around doing s**t, I dont have time for that.