Kay Slay: Brillo Lesson 101

With so many celebrity DJs

trying to be down, there are few that don’t really care about having

artist affiliation. It seems as if when Wayne said “That’s 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 he’s clearly said “Don’t blame

me, I’m 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

the masses.

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. That’s 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 wasn’t 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

be proud?

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. That’s 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 it’s a

wack motherf****r that don’t 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 don’t 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.

It’s 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 don’t 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

stood up.

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 it’s been a minute since I went hard with the whole mixtape

game. For one, a lot of DJs don’t really know what it’s based upon.

They take 10 records off the internet, put them together and then say

they have a mixtape. They don’t know the essence of trying to get

an exclusive and trying to have records that nobody else has. It’s

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! People’s albums

are getting bootlegged overseas. They over in London bootlegging you

because the UK version is let out before it let out over here. It’s


AllHipHop.com: So you don’t 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 shouldn’t

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

doesn’t 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 don’t 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 that’s 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 can’t follow anybody else’s 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

bigger market?

Kay Slay: Don’t fake it make it. When

you do it’s a fad and it’s 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.

That’s 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 don’t 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 that’s played? Should there be more

of a range?

Kay Slay: A lot of people don’t really

know what Hip-Hop is all about. They're doing things for the wrong reasons.

They think women, money and cars. If you can’t 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 doesn’t 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 it’s a hit, it’s 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.