DJ Shay, who extensively worked with the Buffalo NY Hip-Hop collective Griselda Records has passed away at the age of 48.
Westside Gunn shared the tragic news via Instagram and Griselda Records in a statement shared by Pitchfork and also in a touching IG tribute:
“Your legacy & your impact will transcend the boundaries of time!!! You were the earliest conduit to this thing of ours. LEGENDS NEVER DIE! You are immortalized in our hearts. Rest up King! We love you. And sending out the most sincere condolences to your family during these times.”
Shay, born Demetrius Chawton Robinson, began working with Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine in the early 2000s, subsequently managing, producing, and recording with them exclusively. Shay had tremendous confidence in the duo, in an interview just last month he said he knew “had two of the best rappers in the world.”
In his IG tribute to DJ Shay, Westside Gunn wrote:
“U was there EVERY step of the way, It was an honor to help your dream come true for Buffalo Hip Hop, u looked at me and said ‘thx to you it’s no more Unsigned city… it’s signed city now,'” wrote Westside Gunn on Instagram. “Your last thing u said to me was when u beat Corona u wanted a Buffalo Kids Chain I pray to GOD he got u Icey bc u are the biggest BUFFALO KID of them All I pray for your family and this is the longest I’ve probably ever cried besides Bacon and ChineGun I’m heart broken, I’m a miss fuckin wit u, wats a GXFR show without the LEGENDARY DJ SHAY.”
Benny the Butcher who is currently featured Cassius’ Summer of Black Music’s digital cover added on Instagram:
“This hurt right here this was my mentor coach father figure all that I feel like somebody stole something from me.”
Conway the Machine added:
“I’m so hurt right now idk how I’m gon pull thru unk, I been struggling all day trying to understand and grasp all this king… I cry every time I think of Dread, Rick Hyde mars Dj Tjizzle Dom and Dan ya daughter and Inez and showtime and ya grandkids and everyone who’s lives you impacted in some way, and how this is hurting them but I promise you I’m gon hold shit down unk!!”
Rest in Power DJ Shay.
Photo: Prince Williams / Getty