Pro Era

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Pro Era
Pro Era.jpg
Members of Pro Era pictured in 2015[a]
Background information
Origin Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Years active 2011–present
Associated acts
Past members
  • Capital STEEZ (deceased)
  • Dyemond Lewis
  • SwankMaster RAW
  • T'nah Apex
  • Junior B. (deceased)

Pro Era (short for Progressive Era) is an American hip hop collective from Brooklyn, New York. The collective includes, among others, rappers Joey Bada$$, CJ Fly, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, Aaron Rose, Dessy Hinds, Dirty Sanchez, Rokamouth, J.A.B. and Jakk the Rhymer, along with producers Chuck Strangers, Powers Pleasant, Bruce Leekix, Hans Solo and Niles. The collective was formed in 2011 by Capital STEEZ and Powers Pleasant, with Joey Bada$$ and CJ Fly among its founding members.

Music career[edit]

2008–2011: The 3rd Kind and formation of Pro Era[edit]

Capital STEEZ, then known as Jay STEEZ, had started recording music around 2008. During those times STEEZ was also a part of a rap duo called The 3rd Kind along with childhood friend, Jakk the Rhymer. The 3rd Kind released their only mixtape, The Yellow Tape, in 2009.

In the spring of 2011, while still a student at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, New York, Capital STEEZ had a performance at a cafe in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, with friends including Powers Pleasant, Joey Bada$$ and Dirty Sanchez also in attendance to show him support.[1] On their way home from the performance, he and Powers Pleasant came up with the idea of forming a hip hop collective, which they named "Progressive Era", or "Pro Era" for short.[2] In addition to the two co-founders, Joey Bada$$ and CJ Fly were brought into the group as founding members.[3][4]

2012: Rise in popularity and death of Capital STEEZ[edit]

The Pro Era collective signed with the Cinematic Music Group label in 2012, shortly after Jonny Shipes became the manager of Joey Bada$$.[5] On February 14, 2012, Pro Era released their debut mixtape entitled The Secc$ Tap.e.[6]

The release of the AmeriKKKan Korruption (Capital STEEZ) and 1999 (Joey Badass) mixtapes increased the group's popularity in the underground scene. 1999 was listed among "Best Mixtapes of 2012" by multiple publications.[7][8] Capital STEEZ was on the list of "Rappers to Watch For in 2013."[9]

Pro Era performed with The Smoker's Club's One Hazy Summer Tour, a 30-date tour that began July 13, 2012.[10] In December of that year, Pro Era released the PEEP: The aPROcalypse mixtape.[11] From October 27 to December 1, 2012, Joey Bada$$ went on the first tour for any member of the collective, beginning in New York and ending in Virginia, with the tour also extending abroad to countries such as Switzerland, France, England and the Netherlands.[12]

On December 24, 2012, Capital STEEZ committed suicide, jumping from the rooftop of the Cinematic Music Group headquarters in Manhattan, New York City. Earlier that evening, he sent text messages to a few of his closest friends, telling them he loved them. At 11:59 PM on December 23, Dewar posted a tweet saying, "The end."[13] He jumped to his death the next night.[2]

2013–14: Touring and mixtapes[edit]

CJ Fly (left) and Joey Badass (right) at the Under the Influence Tour in Toronto, Canada on August 10, 2013.

On March 21, 2013, Pro Era participated in the Beast Coastal concert tour with The Underachievers and Flatbush Zombies.[14] The Beast Coastal concert tour performed all over the United States. The first leg of the tour covered the West coast while the second leg covered the East and Midwest, before the tour ended on April 20. Pro Era began a tour of their own on August 29, 2013 at Fort Punta Christo Pula in Croatia and they performed at a variety of venues including New Zealand, Australia and the United States. The tour went on to December 14 and this was technically the first tour in which Pro Era as a group went on tour.[12] Later that year, Pro Era toured with the Under the Influence 2013 tour with Wiz Khalifa, ASAP Rocky, Trinidad James, Chevy Woods and Smoke DZA, among others.[15]

On October 5, 2013, CJ Fly released his debut mixtape, Thee Way Eye See It.[16] On December 25, 2013, the group announced that their third mixtape, The Secc$ Tap.e 2, would be released on February 14, 2014.[17] As promised, it would be released on that day, as a part of a free-music giveaway coined "Pro Era Week".[18] Their next project, The Shift, a free EP was released on May 27, 2014 by Scion AV.[19][20]

2014–present: Solo projects[edit]

Due to the coming release of his debut studio album, Joey Bada$$ began a long world tour alongside Pro Era. The tour started on August 8, 2014 in Norway before they went on to tour the U.S. for weeks until reaching their Europe leg of the tour which began in England on November 18 making stops in countries like France, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, Croatia, Switzerland, and Germany.[21] Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era decided to cut the tour short while in Australia due to the death of member, and cousin of Joey Bada$$, Junior B.[22]

After Bada$$' debut album was released, he stated in an interview that Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, and CJ Fly will be releasing new music in 2015. He also announced an upcoming Pro Era album as well as a Capital STEEZ posthumous album. Pro Era producer and rapper Kirk Knight began his first tour with fellow Cinematic Music Group artist, Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins, without any other musical artists within Pro Era, on February 13, 2015 and will continue to February 27. They will tour the United States and make stops throughout the country. Joey Badass released his debut album, B4.Da.$$ on January 20, 2015. He went along to promote it on his "World Domination Tour". In June 2015, Powers Pleasant released his debut project, The Powers Pleasant Experience, while Kirk Knight also released his debut project, Late Knight Special, on October 30, 2015.[23]

On February 2, 2016, Swankmaster RAW announced that he had left Pro Era. He wrote, "Respectively, want to let to whom it may concern know, I'm no longer a part of the Era. Many blessings to all my brothers." On February 3, 2016, Joey Bada$$ reported on Twitter that another member, Dyemond Lewis, had an amicable split with the group. He wrote, "Dyemond Lewis is no longer a part of PROERA... That's my brother to the death but we had to come to this conclusion unfortunately."[24] On February 29, 2016, Nyck Caution released his debut project, Disguise the Limit. On December 9, 2016, CJ Fly released his debut project, FlyTrap. On December 27, Nyck Caution announced the album Nyck @ Knight, a collaborative effort between himself and Kirk Knight, stating that they had already completed 4 songs. On June 2017, both Kirk Knight and Nyck Caution announced that the collaborative project was completed. It is scheduled to be released on July 21st of 2017. On the third annual STEEZ Day Festival, Joey Bada$$ announced after Pro Era's performance that they are working on a group album as well as announcing the release date of the posthumous Album from Capital STEEZ, King Capital to be released on the 5th anniversary of his death, December 23rd 2017.[25][26]

47 logo controversy[edit]

The "47" symbol associated with Pro Era

The design of one of Pro Era's logos is the number 47 with its digits joined together.[27]

It has sparked controversy due to its similarity to the Nazi flag. Like the Nazi flag, the logo has a red field with a solid white circle and a black insignia. Instead of a swastika, the circular white field of the sticker contains the 47 symbol, which bears close resemblance to the swastika and to a wolfsangel, both of which are associated with Nazism and Neo-Nazism. Stickers of the logo and graffiti of the symbol appeared in numerous locations around Edward R. Murrow High School and the Brooklyn neighborhood of Midwood (where the school is located) in March 2014, being planted by members of Pro Era to honor the memory of the late Capital STEEZ.

According to local news station News 12 Brooklyn, the group has explained that the logo was designed the way it was to draw attention, and that the symbol resembles peace, love and balance, as with the swastika's significance in various religions. They say that it is supposed to be a spiritual symbol and not an offensive one. Capital STEEZ believed that the logo's resemblance of a swastika is a commentary on the appropriation of what was originally a peaceful & spiritual symbol with roots in Eastern religions.[2]

Pro Era Records[edit]

Pro Era Records
Pro Era Records.png
Parent company Cinematic
Founded 2015
Founder Pro Era
Distributor(s) RED
Genre Hip hop
Country of origin United States
Location Brooklyn, New York
Official website

Pro Era Records is an American independent record label founded by the group in 2015.[28]


Current acts
Former acts
  • Capital STEEZ (deceased)
  • Dyemond Lewis
  • SwankMaster RAW
  • T'nah Apex
Record producers
  • Bruce Leekix
  • Chuck Strangers
  • Hans Solo
  • Kirk Knight
  • Powers Pleasant
  • Sür Niles
  • Statik Selektah


Collective discography[edit]


  • The G.O.D. (TBA)


  • The Secc$ TaP.E. (2012)
  • P.E.E.P.: The aPROcalypse (2012)
  • The Secc$ TaP.E. 2 (2014)


  • The Shift (2014)

Individual discography[edit]

Aaron Rose


  • Elixir (2016)
  • Rozart (TBA)
Capital STEEZ


  • The Yellow Tape (with Jakk the Rhymer) (2009)
  • AmeriKKKan Korruption (2012)


Chuck Strangers


  • Consumers Park (TBA)
CJ Fly



Dirty Sanchez


  • New Yuck City (TBA)
Joey Bada$$



Kirk Knight


Instrumental Albums

  • Black Noise (2016)
Nyck Caution


  • The Pursuit, Vol. 1 (2011)


Powers Pleasant


  • The Powers Pleasant Experience (2015)
Hans Solo


  • On the Wheel (with Sincere) (2017)



  1. ^ Members from first to third row, left to right: CJ Fly and Dessy Hinds; Kwon Swank, SwankMaster RAW, Dyemond Lewis, J.A.B., Dirty Sanchez, Joey Bada$$, Kirk Knight and Rokamouth (seated); Niles, Nyck Caution, Powers Pleasant and Aaron Rose.


  1. ^ Mahadevan, Tara (July 5, 2016). "Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era Turn Tragedy Into Celebration With Their Annual Steez Day Festival". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Rosenberg, Eli (November 26, 2013). "Capital STEEZ: King Capital". The Fader. Archived from the original on August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  3. ^ Isenberg, Daniel (May 9, 2012). "Who Is Joey Bada$$?". Complex. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 
  4. ^ Badami, Anthony (June 6, 2012). "Joey Bada$$ Travels Through Astroplanes". Interview. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 
  5. ^ Rys, Dan (December 22, 2015). "Joey Bada$$ and Cinematic's Jonny Shipes Want to Be the New Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Progressive Era -The Secc$ Tape (Mixtape)". The Smokers Club. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  7. ^ "38. Joey Bada$$, 1999 — The 50 Best Albums of 2012". Complex. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  8. ^ "HipHopDX's Top 10 Mixtapes Of 2012". HipHop DX. 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  9. ^ "Top Artists To Watch For In 2013 | Discussing Lil' Wayne, Drake & Many More Hip Hop Artists". HipHopDX. 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  10. ^ "Juicy J To Headline The Smokers Club's "One Hazy Summer" Tour, Features Smoke DZA | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHopDX. 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  11. ^ "Pro Era - Peep The Aprocalypse". The Pro Era. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  12. ^ a b "Tours". Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "KING CAPITAL $TEEZ on Twitter: "The end."". 2012-12-23. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  14. ^ Riazati, Sarah (2013-05-23). "Documentary: Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era's Beast Coastal Tour". The Fader. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  15. ^ "Wiz Khalifa Reveals 'Under The Influence Tour 2013′ Lineup, Dates - XXL". Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  16. ^ "CJ Fly - Thee Way Eye See It Mixtape - Stream & Download". 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  17. ^ "Pro Era Dropping New Mixtape In February - XXL". Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  18. ^ Krishnamurthy, Sowmya (2014-02-14). "Pro Era Releases "The Secc$ Tap.e 2"". Complex. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  19. ^ "Brooklyn crew Pro Era announce "sample-free" EP, The Shift – hear 'Extortion' - FACT Magazine". Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  20. ^ "Top Of The Year: The Deans List (Top 25 Artists of 2013)". OK-Tho. 2014-01-15. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  21. ^ "Tour Archive". Pro Era. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  22. ^ Beauchemin, Molly. "Joey Bada$$ Shares B4.DA.$$ Tracklist, Cancels European Tour". Molly Beauchemin. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Kirk Knight Tour". Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  24. ^ Lilah, Rose. "Dyemond Lewis has amicable split with Pro Era". Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Kirk Knight & Nyck Caution Announce Joint Album, Nyck @ Knight". The Wav Form. December 29, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  26. ^ Ivey, Justin (December 30, 2016). "Kirk Knight and Nyck Caution Are Working on a Collaborative Project". XXL. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Controversial symbol shows up along Avenue K in Midwood". News 12 Brooklyn. News 12 Brooklyn. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  28. ^

External links[edit]