I discovered Capital STEEZ a day after his passing. On Christmas Day 2012 I was finally checking out Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew and one member immediately stood out for me. That day I downloaded every Mixtape and listened to their new collective Mixtape that dropped a few days later. What hypnotised me was the crews political stance and none of them was more political then STEEZ.
In his brief career Capital STEEZ aka Jamal Dewar dropped a Mixtape, which got a re-release with extra songs and featured on, two group mixtapes and Joey Bada$$ ‘1999’ mixtape. On Joey’s debut video ‘Survival Tactics’ he blew everyone away with an aggressive verse. He showed influences from Immortal Technique, Buckshot and Chuck D (funny that Pro Era shorten is PE, maybe no coincidence). Dropping two music videos himself we saw two sides to the artist, the traditional boom bap style and the revolutionary political style that had rap critics watering at the mouth for STEEZ in 2013. He unfortunately took his own life, many citing mental Health issues but this is unconfirmed speculation.
One thing I noticed about STEEZ in interviews and his recordings is his commitment to his beliefs. Listen to his music and you will feel his passion for change in so many things. A change in the system, a change in people’s perception of the inner city kids he represents and a change in his peers state of mind. STEEZ was a thinker, an educator and a strong figure. In an early interview with the pro era collective Joey Bada$$ says, ‘We want to show having fun is fun again!” STEEZ follows with,’And Legal!!!’ Poking fun at the system governing America. It was unconscious outbursts like these that also featured in his lyrics along with his ridiculous old school aura and rapping ability. I say unconscious because it seemed like second nature for him to criticise the system and stand up for his rights.
To conclude we have definitely lost a great before his potential was realised, if Pharrell can liken Kendrick Lamar to a modern day Bob Dylan then me likening STEEZ to a modern day Gil Scott-Heron is no too far fetched.