Although he may not always get the credit he deserves, DJ Kay Slay is definitely a cultural renaissance man. From his early days in the 80s getting acclaim in the street for his graffiti, to his game-changing run in the late 90s and 2000s as a King of the mixtape circuit, discovering and showcasing new artists like his former signee Papoose, to now with his publication Straight Stuntin giving women such as Blac Chyna and Lira Galore their first major modeling platform, Slay is always going to contribute to the culture.
But talking to the man who has two longstanding weekly radio shows, one on Sirius XM, the other Hot 97, he'll tell you music is always in the forefront. On Friday, he released his fourth LP, The Big Brother.
"In this current time, me being an older cat, a lot of people from the modeling game, to the artists, to the to the DJs, a lot of people always come to me for advice," the Drama King explained. "Even people on Instagram that's trying to get into the business, they always come to me. They say 'uncle' or big brother.' The uncle thing sounds a little too old. Like the 'Big Uncle.' 'The Big Brother' sounds a little more catchy."
Like his previous efforts, The Drama King enlisted a cavalcade of his mic ripping friends. Busta Rhymes, The Game and Tech N9ne appear on "Jealousy." Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and Kevin Gates tag team for the lyrically turbulent "Wild One." Gates also joins singer Rell, Mac Miller and Kendrick Lamar on The Big Brother's first release, the gangsta anthem "Cold Summer."
Kendrick has the first verse and raps "Fuckin up the premises, I been a dick./ Ain't beneficial, I'm 'bout to issue your nemesis./Evaluate the building' when I come through./ Evaluate your feelings when I come through."
Slay met Top Dawg, Kendrick and Jay Rock 11 years ago through his close friend and business partner Wack 100. During a visit to LA, Wack took Slay to Nickerson Gardens Houses in Watts where he first came in contact with the T.D.E. family.
At the time, Jay Rock was the main focus of the label and Kendrick was coming up. A familial bond was formed as Slay would show love to the entire camp, putting them on his mixtapes and radio shows and building with them on how to get their music in the forefront. He remembers Kendrick as always having ferocious rhymes ready and is not surprised to see that over a decade later, as Lamar as evolved into one of the top names in all of music, the notoriety has not changed him.
"He's a humble dude," Slay described of Lamar. "He doesn't talk a lot. He's not boisterous about it. What he does, he shows and proves when he gets on that mic. That's when he gives it out. He's not big-headed. He's always been cool. He did mixtapes and everything for me. I always supported them. I tell people be kind to the people you meet on the way up, you never know who they gonna turn out to be."
Dave East, Ice-T, Kool G Rap, Ms. Hustle, Bun B, Fat Joe, Scarface and The Lox all also appear on the LP.