Capital Steez

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Capital STEEZ
CapitalSteezHypetrak.jpg
Capital STEEZ in 2011
Background information
Birth name Courtney Jamal Dewar, Jr.
Also known as
  • Jay Steez
  • Steelo
  • King Steelo
  • King Capital
Born (1993-07-07)July 7, 1993
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Origin Flatbush, New York, U.S.
Died December 23, 2012(2012-12-23) (aged 19)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.[1]
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper
Years active 2009–2012
Labels Cinematic[2]
Associated acts

Courtney Jamal Dewar, Jr. (July 7, 1993 – December 23, 2012), better known by his stage name Capital Steez (stylized as Capital STEEZ), was an American hip hop artist from Brooklyn, New York. He was the co-founder of the Brooklyn-based rap collective Pro Era, along with longtime friend and record producer Powers Pleasant.[3][4][5] Capital STEEZ was also the founder of the Beast Coast movement, which consists of three main groups based in Flatbush: Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies, and The Underachievers.

Life and career[edit]

1993–2011: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Courtney Jamal Dewar, Jr. was born in New York City to Jamaican parents. His father died when he was three years old.[4] He began rapping in 2009, then known as Jay STEEZ, with his friend Jakk the Rhymer. Together, they formed a group called The 3rd Kind. Their first mixtape was titled The Yellow Tape, which included tracks that sampled the popular British virtual band Gorillaz and the final speech from Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator.[citation needed] In the spring of 2011, while still a student at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, New York, Capital STEEZ and record producer, Powers Pleasant, formed Pro Era on their way home from a performance STEEZ had at a local Brooklyn cafe, which a number of friends including Joey Bada$$ and Dirty Sanchez also attended to show support.[3][4]

2012: AmeriKKKan Korruption and rise in popularity[edit]

On February 23, 2012, Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ uploaded "Survival Tactics" to YouTube; Steez's closing verse was named on the list of "25 Of The Best Closing Lines In Rap" by XXL Magazine.[6] He was listed in "The 25 Best Rap Lines of 2012" by Spin.[7][8]

Capital STEEZ released his first solo mixtape, AmeriKKKan Korruption, on April 7, 2012, with 14 tracks. The mixtape has been highly acclaimed since its release. A "reloaded" version with seven additional tracks was released on October 10, 2012. The tape now runs 21 tracks in total and features many of his Pro Era teammates, such as CJ Fly, Chuck Strangers, Joey Bada$$, Dirty Sanchez, and Jakk the Rhymer. The mixtape contains production from Madlib, MF DOOM, Free the Robots, DJ Premier, Knxwledge, Ant of Atmosphere, J. Rawls, Tommy Mas, the Entreproducers, and also contains production from fellow Pro Era members, Joey Bada$$, Kirk Knight, and Bruce Leekix.

Death and posthumous works[edit]

Capital STEEZ committed suicide in the late hours of December 23, 2012.[9][10] On the night of December 23, 2012, he made his way to the rooftop of the Cinematic Music Group headquarters in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, where he texted a few of his closest friends to tell them that he loved them, and at 8:59 p.m., posted a tweet saying, "The end."[11] He jumped off the rooftop of the Cinematic Music Group building later that night.[12][4]

In late April 2013, Joey Bada$$ announced that a Capital STEEZ album entitled King Capital would soon be released.[13] On July 7, 2013, Pro Era released the song "King Steelo" from the upcoming posthumous album.[14]

On December 23, 2013, to honor the anniversary of his death, Pro Era released a music video for his song, "47 Piiirates".[15] On August 26, 2016, the official Pro Era YouTube channel released an animated music video for his song, "Herban Legend", which premiered at the second annual STEEZ Day in Los Angeles, California on July 7, 2016. [16]

Personal life[edit]

Steez's spiritual outlook included elements of Egyptian mysticism, numerology, astral projection and the Indian chakra system. He considered himself one of the Indigo children and allegedly believed he was a being of a higher dimension.[4]

Legacy[edit]

Following his death, STEEZ grew to have a cult like fan base. In May 2015, Joey Bada$$ announced that Pro Era would hold a "STEEZ Day Festival" to be held annually on July 7, Capital STEEZ's birthday, with all proceeds going to the late rapper's family.[17] The inaugural festival was held in Central Park in New York City,[18] while the 2016 festival took place in Los Angeles, California.[19]

Controversy[edit]

On March 2, 2016, fellow Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave, in the midst an ongoing feud with Joey Bada$$, made displeasing comments about the suicidal death of Capital Steez on Sway in the Morning, stating: "He didn't pass away; he killed himself. There's a difference. He took his own life. God gave you life, it ain't your right to take that. That's a fact. I got niggas in jail who got life sentences, they might as well be dead. They could've traded their life for his."[20] Troy Ave then received heavy criticism from both fans and fellow artists, including A$AP Ant, A$AP Twelvyy[21] and Styles P who wrote, amongst a series of other tweets: "If you never experienced a family [member] committing suicide you have no fukn [sic] idea about that pain. NONE." Troy Ave then replied to Styles P's comments and apologised to his fans on Twitter.[22][23] In an interview on VladTV, another Brooklyn rapper, Maino, stated that mentioning Capital Steez's suicide in the song was "a bit much".[24]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Mixtapes[edit]

  • AmeriKKKan Korruption (2012)
  • AmeriKKKan Korruption: Reloaded (2012)

Collaborations[edit]

  • The Yellow Tape (with Jakk the Rhymer as The 3rd Kind) (2009)
  • The Secc$ TaP.E. (with Pro Era) (2012)
  • P.E.E.P.: The aPROcalypse (with Pro Era) (2012)

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Director
2010 "Stars" Powers Pleasant
2012 "Survival Tactics" (Joey Bada$$ featuring Capital STEEZ) Creative Control
"Vibe Ratings" DC Khaled
"Free the Robots" KRSP
"Swank Sinatra" (Dyme-A-Duzin featuring Joey Bada$$, Capital STEEZ and CJ Fly) R.B. Umali
2013 "135" N/A
"Apex"
"47 Piiirates" (featuring Dirty Sanchez) Karmaloop
2016 "Herban Legend" The Family

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RIP: Remembering Capital Steez, 1993–2012". 
  2. ^ "Cinematic Music Group Home Page". 
  3. ^ a b Mahadevan, Tara (July 5, 2016). "Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era Turn Tragedy Into Celebration With Their Annual Steez Day Festival". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Rosenberg, Eli (November 26, 2013). "Capital STEEZ: King Capital". The Fader. Archived from the original on August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Rapper Capital Steez of Pro Era Dead at 19". 
  6. ^ "25 Of The Best Closing Lines In Rap". 
  7. ^ "Pro Era Family Tree: Meet The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Crew Spearheaded By Joey Bada$$". 
  8. ^ "The 25 Best Rap Lines of 2012". 
  9. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Collaborator Capital STEEZ of Pro Era Has Died". 
  10. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Confirms Capital STEEZ Death Was ‘Self-inflicted’". 
  11. ^ "KING CAPITAL $TEEZ". Twitter. 
  12. ^ Emmanuel C.M. (2013-12-24). "RIP Capital STEEZ (July 7, 1993 - December 23, 2012) - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  13. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Announces Capital STEEZ Mixtape". 
  14. ^ "Capital STEEZ, "King STEELO" Release". 
  15. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Thinks 'The World Ain't Ready' For Posthumous Capital STEEZ Album". MTV News. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  16. ^ "Official Pro Era 'Herban Legend' video release". Pro Era. 2016-08-26. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  17. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Is Putting on a Festival to Honor Capital Steez". BET. May 7, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  18. ^ Harris, Christopher (June 18, 2015). "Joey Bada$$ Announces First-Annual "Steez Day" Festival; New Flyer Released". HipHopDX. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  19. ^ Rys, Dan (May 19, 2016). "Joey Bada$$ & Pro Era Bringing Second Annual 'Steez Day' Festival to Los Angeles". Billboard. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  20. ^ Madden, Sidney (March 1, 2016). "Troy Ave Speaks on Capital Steez Diss: "Don’t Play With Me"". XXL. Retrieved September 1, 2016. 
  21. ^ Kyles, Yohance (March 2, 2016). "A$AP Mob Members Blast Troy Ave For Disrespecting Capital STEEZ; Troy Defends Dissing The Late Rapper". AllHipHop. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  22. ^ Kyles, Yohance (March 3, 2016). "Troy Ave Apologizes For Suicide Comments & Responds To Joey Bada$$ Exposing His Old Tweets About Nas". AllHipHop. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  23. ^ Rathon, Rocko (March 3, 2016). "Styles P Educates Troy Ave On Twitter Regarding His Suicide Comments". The Source. Retrieved September 1, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Maino: Troy Ave Dissing Capital Steez's Suicide Took Joey Bada$$ Beef Too Far". VladTV / YouTube. April 5, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2016.