DJ Kay Slay’s ‘The Big Brother’ Might Be The Year’s Most Overlooked Rap Album

DJ Kay Slay’s career in rap spans decades and different eras. From being one of the foremost New York DJs, to taking his mix show skills on national tour, to churning out above average to great compilation tapes, the Drama King has made zero bones about his place in rap. But in this current climate where an appreciation of lyrical content is as scarce as trophies in the New York Knicks locker room, Kay Slay isn’t kow towing to anyone.

The Big Brother, his oft-delayed new album is finally here and it is loaded with guest features. Kendrick Lamar and Mac Miller made “Cold Summer” a surprise hit when it arrived late last month but there’s more. Busta Rhymes, The Game and Tech N9ne link up for “Jealousy,” 2 Chainz, Rick Ross and Kevin Gates join forces for “Wild One” and more. That’s not even the tipping point on an album that features an insane twenty-two tracks, unheard of in today’s “playlist” world.

Kay Slay scoured the continental US for guest features and nabbed them from Houston (Z-Ro, Scarface), to the West Coast (Nipsey Hussle, Jay Rock) and his beloved East Coast and NYC rappers who favor punchlines over anything else (Lloyd Banks, Beanie Sigel, Papoose, The LOX). It’s a loaded rap album built off the strength of a sort-of bygone era, the mixtape wars of the mid-aughts where new freestyles and disses appeared at will. Right down to the Koch Records hard body pose on the cover, The Big Brother reaches back to a time and place where “real hip-hop” heads clamored and argued for days over who had the best verse on a certain project.

“This project is dedicated to the true ear hustlers and fans of the true tastemakers in the hip-hop culture,” Kay Slay told Complex. “Where as I am a day one citizen of hip-hop, I felt that I owed a solid collaboration to the fans who been looking forward to this type of album for years.”

Available on all streaming platforms at midnight tonight, take in the Drama King’s latest epic below.