Can also be used as an expression of enthusiastic agreement in a conversation, as demonstrated below in Example 2.
One theory suggests that this variation of "hey" was popularized by the character of Dwayne (portrayed by Haywood Nelson) in the sitcom "What's Happenin'," although Dwayne's usage was three "hays" with shortened syllables, with the inflection on the middle "hay," as shown in Example 3 below.
Person #1: "It sure is hot today!"
Person #2: "HaAAAAAay!"
"Hay HAY hay!"
Stud #2: Nope! And I fed her a whole BALE of hay, too --- worked my butt off for three hours straight in the scorchin' sun to get her car road-ready again, and burned up three of my brand-new DeWalt cut-off blades in the process --- but then afterwards she claimed to have suddenly "got religion" and wouldn't "give me any milk", even though she'd promised she would if I'd fix her car.
2. Can also be used (at the same time) to mean "How Are You?"
To use both at the same time the other person must be familiar with the term else the conversation will go to pot.
JAZ: I'm sweet thanks! hay?
MIMI: I'm cool.
JAZ: don't you just think "hay" is so much
easier than using ...how are you...
MIMI: yer totally, whoever says "how are you"
must be some kinda dork.
JAZ: I agree.
JAZ: yer ...see you later...
MIMI: ok this is going too far...