Monday, 15 November 2010

Kay Slayed 'em

Keith Grayson AKA the former graffiti writer Dez and the future Drama King DJ Kay Slay at some point during his transitional period between the two personas in the early nineties. Plaid turn-ups are so trill.

How'd you fancy a Dame Grease produced quasi-remake of N*gga Witta Gun with Sauce Money, Killer Mike, Bun B, WC, Joe Budden, and some weedcarrier called Hak Ditty who once made a song called My Moms Hates Me all crammed toe-to-toe on it? Whaddaya mean you like some of those guys and think Dame is an underrated producer but you're not exactly sure the contrasting styles of rappers from a variety of regions will inspissate together on a song without it seeming contrived, and the death-squeals of seals being clubbed are preferable to the sound of Joe Buddens's voice? Well, tough luck, dickface, because Kay Slay's 4 official compilation albums were full of such songs which make KanYe's G.O.O.D Friday marathons of mismatched personalities sound as organically communal as Day One or Watch For The Hook.

Thing is, though, is that there were always nuggets of gold to be found on them there Kay Slay albums inbetween the posse cuts where the Drama King answered the questions no one was ever likely to have asked in the first place like what would happen if Papoose hopped on songs with Yung Joc & Chamillionaire, Mike Jones & Paul Wall, and OJ Da Juiceman & Yo Gotti? So, here's 5 bonafide great songs from the Kay Slay albums as chosen by me. None of them are from his The Champions : The North Meets The South album with Greg Street because the only tunes I liked on there were the a tweaked version of the classic pre-Diplomatic Immunity track Drama Gang which wasn't as good as the original, and the Three 6 Mafia & B.G song which doesn't really fit with the east coast theme of the post :

Scarface, Raekwon & Fat Joe - I Never Liked Ya Ass
(From The Streetsweeper Volume 1, 2003)

On one hand, Scarface over a sub-Ayatollah/Just/KanYe/Heatmakerz chipmuk-soul banger with Raekwon and Fat Joe is emblematic of the main problem with Kay Slay's albums; on the other, why be so anal when 'Face has always sounded comfortable on east coast beats and there's little aesthetic difference between this and his most hard-nosed tracks like Raise Up or The Diary? I Never Liked Ya Ass is that puttin'-a-mawfucker-through-a-Spanish-announcer's-table-rap, but it's a pity that Joey Crack and not Ghostface or Beanie Sigel rounds the song off with that third verse because Joe really shouldn't be allowed near any sort of decent production beyond 1999 unless you're talking some D.I.T.C jam like Best Behavior or the classic Primo head-buster Who Got Gunz?.

Mobb Deep ft. Big Noyd - Get Shot The Fuck Up
(From The Streetsweeper Volume 1, 2003)

You know what I'm gonna do if anyone even thinks of piping up to tell me that 50 Shot Ya and Purple Haze were better than this as far as songs from the first The Streetsweeper album go? I'm gonna shrug and agree with them before explaining that both appeared elsewhere beforehand or afterwards so they're disqualified. So, that leaves us with Get Shot The Fuck Up, which finds a baronial orchestral sample and scattershot drums as the vertebrae for the Mobb and Noyd, who steals the show here since P had his soul stolen by Jay-Z a couple of years earlier and didn't manage to retrive it until 2006.

LL Cool J - The Truth
(From The Streetsweeper Volume 2, 2004)

'Face and Ghost's Face Off, and the Three 6 Mafia ft. Lil' Wyte & Frayser Boy single Who Gives A Fuck Where You From? were the cuts from The Streetsweeper Volume 2 which I recall generating the most discussion and radio/video play, but LL's wistful The Truth where he reminisced about the Dapper Dan store getting shot up, hanging with Harlem's legendary triumvirate of eighties hustlers, hittin' up The Rooftop, and first hearing himself on Marley's show was the one which led me a merry dance. Who'd-a-thunk Jack The Ripper-turned-Mr Smith would end up doing his best work since Ill Bomb getting introspective over a melancholy flute sample? Moreover, who'd-a-thunk that melancholy flute sample would've been provided by Swizz Beats?

Cam'Ron ft. Chinky Brown Eyes - Harlem
(From The Streetsweeper Volume 2, 2004)

"Them models grasp my fits, they call for fashion tips"

KILLA! So why wasn't this on Purple Haze again??

AZ, Raekwon & Ghostface - See The Light
(From More Than Just A DJ, 2010)

I don't know whether Green Lantern beget this beat specifically for these guys, but I'd like to think his modus operandi here was to create something in the vein of what a 2010 version of AZ & Raekwon's RZA remix of Doe Or Die would sound like. Not a bad song to use as your artistic inspiration, given that the previous AZ & Rae' collabo on a Kay Slay album sounded like the then absolutely-killing-shit Heatmakerz thought "hey, you know how we've just murked Just and KanYe with their own sound on Diplomatic Immunity? Let's abandon that altogether and give Kay Slay something which sounds like a Drag-On album track from 2000 for Prodigy, Raekwon, and AZ to rap on, yeah?"


done said...

true story, i thought kay slay had one arm for years when i was a youngin based on me thinking he was the dude from style wars (kase?), never knew he actually did graf, weird.

definitly have to check those streetsweeper albums out

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

The first one is the best, imo.

Kase actually looks closer to Kay Slay than Dez did back in Style Wars.

step one said...

that LL track is fucking great and seriously slept on. you heard the version on the 12" over the 'Dead Presidents' beat?

also, Slay is probably the only DJ (maybe along with Flex) that enhance a track by shouting over it. I still play the mixtape version of the 'Made You Look' remix just because it sounds more hype with him ranting over the intro.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Not heard that, no, but fully agreed on Kay's bellowing at crucial moments enhancing songs.

P said...


hl said...

"I Never Like Your Ass"

^Greatest song title ever?

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

It's definately up there, but I Shitted 'N Dat Hoe House by Ice Mike is probably the G.O.A.T.