Capital Steez
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Capital Steez

Capital Steez
CapitalSteezHypetrak.jpg
Capital Steez in 2011
Background information
Courtney Everald Dewar Jr.
  • Jay Steez
  • Steelo
  • King Steelo
  • King Capital
Born(1993-07-07)July 7, 1993
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
OriginFlatbush, New York, U.S.
DiedDecember 23, 2012(2012-12-23) (aged 19)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.[1]
GenresHip hop
Rapper
2009-2012
LabelsCinematic[2]

Courtney Everald Dewar Jr. (July 7, 1993 - December 24, 2012) was an American rapper from Brooklyn, New York better known by his stage name Capital Steez (stylized as Capital STEEZ). He was the 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.

Early life

Courtney Everald Dewar Jr. was born in New York City to Jamaican parents. His father died when he was three years old.[4] Dewar attended Public School 222 Elementary School in Brooklyn, New York and he formed his first rap group with close friend Jakk the Rhymer (real name Jahkari Jack) in the fourth grade.

Dewar attended Edward R. Murrow High School and fellow classmates remembered him as a "smiling kid with a short afro and skinny jeans" who made friends quickly, skated, smoked cannabis a lot and was a sneakerhead.[4]

Raised as a Christian, Dewar abandoned those beliefs during high school, instead beginning to favor Rastafarianism which would later come to be a core part of his life.[6]

Career

2009-2011: Career beginnings

Dewar began rapping in 2010, then known as Jay STEEZ. Alongside with Jakk the Rhymer, Dewar formed a group called The 3rd Kind. The duo released their first mixtape, titled The Yellow Tape, in the same year.

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]

Capital STEEZ is credited with being the person who coined the term "Beast Coast Movement", a name for the rise in popularity of East Coast hip-hop groups such as Pro Era, The Underachievers, and Flatbush Zombies. [7] The three groups all come from Brooklyn and frequently use the phrase Beast Coast in songs and on concert flyers.

2012: AmeriKKKan Korruption and rise in popularity

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.[8] He was listed in "The 25 Best Rap Lines of 2012" by Spin.[9][10]

Capital STEEZ released his first solo mixtape, AmeriKKKan Korruption, on April 7, 2012, with 14 tracks. The mixtape has received universal acclaim 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

Capital STEEZ died by suicide on December 24, 2012.[11][12] 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 11:59 p.m. EST, posted a tweet saying, "The end."[13] He jumped off the rooftop of the Cinematic Music Group building later that night.[14][4]

In late April 2013, Joey Bada$$ announced that a Capital STEEZ album entitled King Capital would soon be released.[15] On July 7, 2013, Pro Era released the song "King Steelo" from the upcoming posthumous album.[16]

On December 23, 2013, the first anniversary of his death, Pro Era released a music video for his song, "47 Piiirates".[17] 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 Concert in Los Angeles, California on July 7, 2016. [18]

On June 12, 2017, Capital STEEZ's Twitter account posted for the first time since his death tweeting: "The Beginning". Fans immediately realized the tweet was referencing STEEZ's "The End" tweet, which he tweeted moments before jumping to his death on December 23, 2012. This tweet caused fans and music journalists to speculate the release date for STEEZ's posthumous album King Capital. [19] It was announced by Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ's family members at the 2017 STEEZ Day Concert in July that the album would be released on December 23, 2017, the fifth anniversary the rapper's death. However, Joey Bada$$ took to Instagram to tell fans that the album would be delayed yet again due to "business legalities and sample clearances." [20]

On January 2, 2018, Joey Bada$$ replied to various fans' tweets about Pro Era's release schedule for the year. Among his tweets, Bada$$ assured fans he is working on putting Capital STEEZ's AmeriKKKan Korruption mixtape on Spotify (and potentially other streaming services) and hoping to finally release the King Capital album later in the year. [21]

Personal life

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] Steez was infatuated with the number 47 and what it meant spiritually. He believed the number 47 was the "perfect expression of balance in the world", representing the tension between the heart and the brain (the fourth and seventh chakra, respectively.)[4]

Legacy

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.[22] The inaugural festival was held in Central Park in New York City,[23] while the 2016 festival took place in Los Angeles, California.[24]

In December 2017, Joey Bada$$ unveiled a customized chain depicting Capital STEEZ's face in a similar vein of a Jesus Piece. The piece was dubbed the "Steezus Piece" chain and was custom made by Greg Yuna. [25]

Controversy

Dewar's death inspired conspiracy theories focused around his death, including fellow collaborator Joey Bada$$ killing him, the Illuminati ordering his execution and Dewar not really dying but ascending. It has also been theorized that Lil B plotted Dewar's death in response to Dewar's diss on "Survival Tactics." [6]

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."[26] Troy Ave then received heavy criticism from both fans and fellow artists, including A$AP Ant, A$AP Twelvyy[27] 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.[28][29] In an interview on VladTV, another Brooklyn rapper, Maino, stated that mentioning Capital Steez's suicide in the song was "a bit much".[30]

Discography

Studio albums

Mixtapes

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

Collaborations

  • 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

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

  1. ^ "RIP: Remembering Capital Steez, 1993-2012".
  2. ^ "Cinematic Music Group Home Page".
  3. ^ a b Mahadevan, Tara (July 5, 2016). "Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era Turn Tragedy Into Celebration With Their Annual Steez Day Festival". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Rosenberg, Eli (November 26, 2013). "Capital STEEZ: King Capital". The Fader. Archived from the original on August 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Rapper Capital Steez of Pro Era Dead at 19".
  6. ^ a b "The Life and Death of Capital STEEZ". Study Breaks. 2017-08-23. Retrieved .
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "25 Of The Best Closing Lines In Rap".
  9. ^ "Pro Era Family Tree: Meet The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Crew Spearheaded By Joey Bada$$".
  10. ^ "The 25 Best Rap Lines of 2012".
  11. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Collaborator Capital STEEZ of Pro Era Has Died".
  12. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Confirms Capital STEEZ Death Was 'Self-inflicted'".
  13. ^ "KING CAPITAL $TEEZ". Twitter.
  14. ^ Emmanuel C.M. (2013-12-24). "RIP Capital STEEZ (July 7, 1993 - December 23, 2012) - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Announces Capital STEEZ Mixtape".
  16. ^ "Capital STEEZ, "King STEELO" Release".
  17. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Thinks 'The World Ain't Ready' For Posthumous Capital STEEZ Album". MTV News. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Official Pro Era 'Herban Legend' video release". Pro Era. 2016-08-26. Retrieved .
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ [3], XXL Magazine.
  21. ^ [4]
  22. ^ "Joey Bada$$ Is Putting on a Festival to Honor Capital Steez". BET. May 7, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  23. ^ Harris, Christopher (June 18, 2015). "Joey Bada$$ Announces First-Annual "Steez Day" Festival; New Flyer Released". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2016.
  24. ^ Rys, Dan (May 19, 2016). "Joey Bada$$ & Pro Era Bringing Second Annual 'Steez Day' Festival to Los Angeles". Billboard. Retrieved 2016.
  25. ^ [5]
  26. ^ Madden, Sidney (March 1, 2016). "Troy Ave Speaks on Capital Steez Diss: "Don't Play With Me"". XXL. Retrieved 2016.
  27. ^ Kyles, Yohance (March 2, 2016). "A$AP Mob Members Blast Troy Ave For Disrespecting Capital STEEZ; Troy Defends Dissing The Late Rapper". AllHipHop. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ Kyles, Yohance (March 3, 2016). "Troy Ave Apologizes For Suicide Comments & Responds To Joey Bada$$ Exposing His Old Tweets About Nas". AllHipHop. Retrieved 2016.
  29. ^ Rathon, Rocko (March 3, 2016). "Styles P Educates Troy Ave On Twitter Regarding His Suicide Comments". The Source. Retrieved 2016.
  30. ^ "Maino: Troy Ave Dissing Capital Steez's Suicide Took Joey Bada$$ Beef Too Far". VladTV / YouTube. April 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016.

http://www.thefader.com/2013/11/26/capital-steez-king-capital


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