Collins Leysath better known as “DJ Ready” died Friday, leaving only his musical legacy and influence to his admirers. Leysath was only 53 years old when he faced a fatal heart attack. Willie Dennis shared the news of the longtime producer, and DJ’s death on Instagram. “He single-handedly established a style,” Willie says, as he reflects on Collins life.
Collins had infused his Trademark Rap-A-Lot style into Geto Boys. Collins is accredited for pioneering the southern style hip-hop sound. Brad Jordan also known as “Scarface” states that Collins influenced most of Rap-A-Lot’s sound and style. Collins would often use reference of classic pop culture in his music. For example, he once sampled music from the classic “Spider-Man” television series.
Much of Collins’ influence came from his love of comics, Kung-fu movies, and television. Common snit-bits of Collins’ passions, whether it was TV themes, or sound effects often found its way into his music. Dennis also mentions that Collins had a unique forward-thinking view of Hip Hop as a mainstream genre, as it wasn’t viewed that way at the time.
Even though Willie died in his New Jersey home, he still managed to leave the long-lasting impression on the coast. In 1979, Willie moved and threw himself into the club nightlife and eventually impressed producers. Collins subsequently picked-up-the title of “DJ Ready Red” where he joined the Geto Boys. They then released “Car Freak,” one of the earliest rap singles to be recorded in Houston.
The group’s name would eventually change after the release of the 1988 album “Making Trouble” which began to pull a consistent regional audience. The group grew in popularity with the release of “Grip It.” The vocal performances often expressed stories base around Houston and its streets.
Dennis remembers Collins as a perfectionist. He states that much of the Geto Boys hits could not have been as influential as they were if he hadn’t put as much effort into them. In Jordan’s novel, he reminisces the cross-country journey the Geto Boys took. They traveled and only made a few bucks, but they did what they loved. Eventually, Collins moved on due to his frustrations with the group’s finances but still managed to leave a lasting legacy for his fans and the Hip Hop community.