Demetrius Chawton Robinson, known to the community as DJ Shay, who worked closely with local artists as well as Griselda Records and the Black Soprano family, lost his life to COVID-19 complications that he was diagnosed with this summer. Coming from a family of musicians including being the grandson of the late “Count Rabbit” a member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, it was inevitable that Robinson would find his way at an early age to the art form, starting with DJ’ing and eventually finding his way to making beats and producing music.
In the 90’s he worked with the Brotherhood Nation and in the same decade founded Buff City Record label that to the benefit of local artists had a 24 hour recording studio where he produced countless mixtapes. By the end of that same decade he released a series of albums called “Unsigned City” featuring the dynamic skills of local artists.
In the 2000’s he began his journey with homegrown talent and now internationally known hip hop artists Benny the Butcher ,Conway the Machine and Westside Gunn, producing, managing and recording with them eventually getting them signed to major music labels. .
There was a recent outpouring of love and respect from the Buffalo hip-hop community and from artists he worked closely with who took to social media to express their appreciation for this great producer
-West Side Gunn credited Shay for his success in an Instagram post on August 19. “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.”
-Benny the Butcher also expressed his sorrow. “This hurt right here. This was my mentor-coach-father-figure… all that… I feel like somebody stole something from me.”
-Conway the Machine posted “ He was pullin’ the greatness up outta us that we didn’t even see in ourselves. DJ Shay I love u big brother …”
-DJ T Jizzle who at an early age began working with this great producer noted “My father went to DJ Shay for lessons and Shay took me under his Wing.. Shay believed in all of us…”
DJ Shay was 48.
We send our deepest condolences to his friends family loved ones. May his music and legacy live on.