If you don’t remember the guttural cries of Kay Slay’s calling card — “THE DRAMA KING!” — you missed out on a special time in hip-hop’s mixtape era. DJs played an integral role as both tastemakers and curators, with names like the aforementioned Kay Slay, DJ Clue, DJ Envy, DJ Whoo Kid, and DJ Green Lantern all playing their part in setting the scene ablaze. Now, Kay Slay has come through with a new perspective, that of a “Living Legend.” As such, he’s slammed the OG signal and before long Jadakiss, Queen Latifah, and Bun B came running.
Within the opening moments, DJ Kay Slay‘s iconic tag proves he’s still on the grind. “It started first with the dope, I earned all my stripes, I put in work with the GOATS,” spits Jadakiss, in the opening verse. “I turned to the mic, went berserk with the quotes, I wrestled with the flow to every verse and the yoke.” In what might be the biggest highlight, Queen Latifah comes through with a welcome reminder of how she built up her empire: spitting bars. “Been around the world like Nat Geo, but still hood, so please don’t make me bring back Cleo,” she spits, alluding to her iconic role in Set It Off.
Leave it to Bun B to close this one out with a bang, and the UGK icon does exactly that. “Me and Pimp put it down in the rap game,” he raps, calling back to his late rhyming partner. “Been Gold and Platinum plaques, no cap, mane.” In short, “Living Legend” is a homage to the golden era and those who helped establish hip-hop into what it is today. For that, it’s worth a listen.
Bow down to greatness, no handshake
Me and Kay Slay helped shape the landscape
Speak my language, I know you can’t wait
But first, over 62 movie credits to translate
They just talk the game, I turn midnight strolls to The Walk of Fame
Oscars, Grammys, I built the ground that you walk on
I taught you how to tilt your crown, come on