DJ Vlad has expressed regret over not pushing DJ Kay Slay to get the COVID-19 vaccination, explaining that it could have ultimately saved his life.

Vlad sat down for an interview with actor Michael Jai White that was published on Thursday (December 22), and at one point, the conversation turned to health. Amid talk of obesity and the food consumed in America, Vlad brought up a conversation he’d had with the Drama King just one week before the famed DJ caught the COVID virus that would go on to take his life.

“To this day, it still bothers me,” Vlad began. “DJ Kay Slay, who had been my friend for like 20 years – my last text message with him, we were talking about some interview stuff. He was helping me book somebody. And I’m like, ‘How you been?’ He’s like, ‘I’m good, just trying to stay out of the way of this COVID thing.’ I’m like, ‘Okay! Are you vaccinated?’ He said, ‘Nah, the vaccine don’t work for the variants. I’m gonna wait until all the variants are done and I’m gonna take the vaccine then. Maybe.’

Vlad explained that he wanted to say something, but ultimately decided not to because he’d tried convincing others before and it didn’t work. He also felt that Slay was grown and that it was his decision to make.

“One week later, he got COVID,” Vlad continued. “Went to the hospital. He was in the hospital on life support for months; ultimately died. And it’s like, if I had said something, would it have changed? Would he have been like, ‘I respect Vlad. Let me go ahead and get vaccinated.’ That vaccine would have saved his life.”

DJ Vlad then mentioned that others may disagree in the comments, but that statistics would show the vaccine would have worked.

“That vaccine statistically would have saved his life,” the media personality said. “He was a man in his mid 50s, he was somewhat overweight – not obesely overweight but he was somewhat overweight. He would go out a lot drinking. I don’t know if he smoked, whatever. But ultimately whatever that situation was put together, he got COVID and died prematurely.”


He ended his story with an apology to Slay’s family. “I could have said something. I chose not to because of the social awkwardness around that, and it still bothers me to this day… I’m sorry to his family that I didn’t say nothing. I’m sorry.”

DJ Kay Slay passed away on Easter Sunday, April 17, after a four-month battle with COVID-19. He was 55-years-old.

News of his passing sent shock-waves through the Hip Hop community, as Slay had been a prominent figure in the game for nearly 40 years. Known as The Drama King, he’d established himself as a giant of New York’s rap scene through his early graffiti days under the alias “Dez,” his radio shows on Hot 97 and Shade45 and scores of street-sweeping albums and mixtapes.