REVIEW: DJ Kay Slay – More Than Just a DJ

Ghetto-fabulous album cover aside, DJ Kay Slay’s More Than Just a DJ (in stores on February 9 on Streetsweepers/E1 Music) is a nice collection of hip hop joints that (in the label-loving, logo-wearing DJ’s own words) “doesn’t disappoint”.

With a guest list that includes: Tony Yayo, Papoose, Lloyd Banks, Jacki-O, Remy Ma, Yo Gotti, Jim Jones, Busta Rhymes, Ray J(?), Cam’ron, Bun-B, Twista, M.O.P, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Webbie, Lil Boosie, Nicole Wray, Joell Ortiz, Jae Millz, Uncle Murda and many, many more, the anticipated album has a lil something for everybody. At 20 tracks, I suppose there’s definitely room on the LP for all those appearances and collaborations, but there’s something about this whole thing that’s bothering me.

DJ Kay Slay has reportedly stated that this, his fifth album, is bringing back real East Coast hip hop. Here’s the thing: while there were a few dark years when I (along with many others) was convinced that hip hop was dead- thankfully, those who were in a position to take action did so, and I would go so far as to say that hip hop is making a nice recovery. Now that it’s off life support though, maybe we should look toward the future? Maybe do something a little different? I’m just saying…

The first four tracks are about what you’d expect from the Drama King, a good exception being “Bad Girls”-featuring Jacki-O, Remy Ma, Hedonis and Ayanna Irish. “I walk on water/I talk in scriptures, if she ain’t that chick in the mirror, she can’t out-spit me…” I’m always down with the girl power and Kay Slay seems to be secure enough in his masculinity to let the ladies do their thing, which is a plus. Unfortunately, “Thug Luv”-featuring Maino, Papoose, Red Café and Ray J. sets the women’s movement back a couple of decades, although the sample of Luther Vandross’ “Don’t You Know” makes it deceptively easy to listen to.

“Building With the God” is one minute, twenty seconds of what can only be described as “fussing”, even if the message is positive. It feels like a lecture from a well-meaning grandparent. “You Heard of Us” and “Street Credibility” are two tracks you’ll definitely want to check out.

Although there are some great tracks, some so-so tracks, and some not-so-notable tracks on More Than Just a DJ, the overall result is a cohesive, solid album that won’t leave you feeling cheated, but it will leave you feeling like you’ve heard it all before. The question is- what’s next?

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