DJ Kayslay Biography
Last updated: 03/24/2009 12:00:00 PM
DJ KaySlay The Street Sweeper Vol. 2 - The Pain From The Game
Leave it to DJ Kay Slay to up the ante and challenge rival DJ's to either follow or best his artistic progression on his latest album, The Street Sweeper Vol. 2 - The Pain From The Game. Leading off with the Three 6 Mafia and Lil Wyte assisted "Who Gives A& Where You From," DJ Kay Slay's sophomore LP, The Street Sweeper Vol. 2 - The Pain From The Game picks up where the predecessor's infectious beats and lyrics left off and builds on Kay Slay's previous successes to create one of the year's most solid LPs.
While Kay's competition typically takes long breaks in-between CD releases, Harlem's own wasted no time in hitting the lab and cooking up 21 new bangers. "I'm a constant worker," Kay quipped confidently. "A lot of cats can't even put a compilation together as fast as I did. " The result is a hardcore extravaganza featuring virtually every hip-hop star under the sun including Lil' Flip, Eminem, 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Ghostface Killah, and Cam'Ron.
Yet, the opus isn't merely a selection of random songs, but rather an extension of Kay Slay's slept-on creativity. On "Face Off," Ghostface Killah and Scarface team up to trade darts over The Heatmakerz' RZA-esque track. "Scarface was always one of my favorite rappers," admits Kay Slay. "And Ghostface is my favorite rapper period. I just wanted different concepts that people never tried. I was like, 'I'm going to get Ghostface and Scarface' and call it 'Face Off. ' They both came in hard on that record. Heatmakerz gave me a hot beat. Definite banger. "
"Not Your Average Joe" finds Joe Budden, Fat Joe and crooner Joe providing a dance floor scorcher for thugs and ladies alike while "Celebrity Love" brings together MTV's LaLa, BET.com's Tiffany, Power 105's Steph Lova, Hot 97's Sunny, and Chinky Brown Eyes to spit some serious game. Beyond, the DJ and the artist, The Street Sweeper Vol. 2 - The Pain From The Game showcases Kay Slay the producer as he handles the boards on a few cuts including the aforementioned "Celebrity Love. "
Kay Slay and street cred go hand in hand, and in addition, The Street Sweeper Vol. 2 - The Pain From The Game highlights the DJ's more artistic side as he successfully builds and elevates from the mixtape format. "I pretty much used the same formula," he says. "I try to balance the record. A little something for here, something for the ladies. The only difference is with the mixtapes I'm playing records that other people made. These records I made myself. "
Kay opted to tap Three 6 Mafia for the album's first single. Filled with lyrical threats and high-energy flows over Three 6's adrenaline-fueled chops, the single perfectly articulates Kay Slay's "slap your favorite DJ" attitude. "Three 6 Mafia. Their attitude is so much just like my own," says Kay Slay. Hard to deny the single's appeal considering EA Sports reached out to include it in their new NFL Street video game. EA Sports also recognized Kay's cachet by making him one of the game's characters.
And by now, hip-hop heads unfamiliar with Kay's character, accomplishments and legacy have probably been stuck under a rock for the last decade. This year, he took steps towards legendary status by winning two more Justo Mixtape Awards for "Best Duo," alongside Big Mike, and "Best Commercial Mixtape DJ," making it nine Mixtape Awards in four years for the Drama King. He has also won "DJ Of The Year" three times, as well as "Best Hip-Hop DJ," "Best Mixtape Personality," "Best Freestyles," "Best Mixtape DJ" and "Best Mixtape. "
It's hard to fathom a time without Kay Slay mixtapes. Way before the scene was a fifth of today's proportions, Kay was hip-hop all day, renowned across the Big Apple as one of its most notorious graffiti artists, DEZ. His work has even been documented in cult classics like "Wild Style," "Style Wars" and books such as "Subway Art. " Only few know that his "Drama King" nickname spans two decades, longer than the age of most heads that check for Kay's mixtapes. Unfortunately, Kay's climb to prominence was halted when he got caught up during the 80s period.
Though he was yet to be a household name, Kay helped elevate a regressing mixtape scene during the early 90s. After the RIAA's federal mixtape crackdown, Slay took initiative and began to make promotional mixtapes for countless of New York City's musical outlets. A few years later, Kay's name was the most sought-after through bootleggers and mom and pop stores. Armed with a personality the streets can relate to and a knack for broadcasting hip-hop's underground and high profile battles, Slay was eventually crowned the streets "Mixtape King. "
But mixtape immortality isn't enough to satisfy Kay's ambitions. Some of hip-hop's finest institutions have requested Kay's authenticity. Drama hungry heads can still catch their weekly fix every Thursday on "The Drama Hour," which now lasts an extra 60 minutes. And Kay has also been exercising his journalistic skills, interviewing various artists in The Source's monthly column, "Back Talk. "
However, for now the focus is on The Street Sweeper Vol. 2 - The Pain From The Game, a disc featuring a who's who of hip-hop royalty. The fact that Kay was able to assemble such a stellar line-up without sweating is a testament of the respect he commands in the industry. Aside from the aforementioned, Kay's new album also stars LL Cool J, Obie Trice, Sauce Money, Lil Jon, Bun B, David Banner, Twista and The Diplomats with production from Swizz Beatz and a slew of up-and-comers including his own artist, Stay Getting.
And while The Street Sweeper Vol. 2 - The Pain From The Game's platinum line-up makes it a sure shot for plaques, Kay's claim to fame ironically gave today's stars the platform needed to succeed. As mixtapes slowly become today's demos, aspiring emcees routinely see their stock skyrocket upon appearing on Kay Slay's mixtapes. Feeding hunger is now common practice for the heavyweight. Similarly to the first volume, Kay's sophomore offering includes various up-and-comers, more notably on "Through Your Head," one of Kay's favorite records, featuring Jae Millz, Angelous, Cashmere, Trife, Maino, True Life and The Bad Seed. "On this track they're going for the jugular. They're trying to make a name so you know they're not on the record playing around. They're on the record doing their thing," reveals Kay Slay excitedly. "I love all my records. "
Other standouts include "Drama" with Lil Jon, Bun B of UGK, David Banner and Baby D, G-Unit persists in keeping it gangsta on the DJ Twinz-crafted "Angels Around Me." "Get Retarded," finds Twista and The Diplomats chasing a hyperactive Stay Getting track and the crew's leader Killah Cam makes a second appearance to pay homage to his and Kay's stomping grounds on "Harlem. "
In the end, no matter who's on Kay's record, he's the star of the show. While Mixtape DJ's formerly remained anonymous, the medium's explosion has catapulted them to the forefront. And no DJ is as recognizable as Kay Slay. With The Street Sweeper Vol. 2 - The Pain From The Game, Kay is poised to reach the stratosphere and add to his already impeccable resume.