Sad news came over the holidays, when it was reported that Pro-Era rapper Capital STEEZ passed away on Christmas Eve at just 19 years old.. Pitched as the second-in-command of Joey Bada$$‘s Flatbush, Brooklyn-based crew, STEEZ was set to build on a promising 2012 by solidifying his talent as a soloist in 2013. Though not many details are known, it’s been suggested that the artist took his own life after his final tweet simply read, “The end.” In honor of STEEZ’s talent, here’s five of his best verses presented in chronological order.
1. “Emotionless Thoughts”
Pro Era’s inaugural mixtape release, The Secc$ Tape was a largely laid-back affair and “Emotionless Thoughts” has STEEZ spitting over a jazzy production and opening up his introspective side about issues he’s having with a lady friend. Consider it the calm before the storm that followed with his next fiery musical attack…
2. “Survival Tactics”
The song that introduced Capital STEEZ to the world back at the beginning of 2012, “Survival Tactics” has him in tandem with Pro Era leader Joey Bada$$ as they drop sparky verses over a lost Styles of Beyond instrumental. STEEZ takes on the second verse and unleashes a rap that nods to doomsday theories, anti-censorship stances and gun control issues. Also included is the fan favorite Lil B dis, “They say hard work pays off/ Well tell the Based God don’t quit his day job.”
3. “Free the Robots”
STEEZ’s most prominent track from his underrated AmeriKKKan Korruption mixtape, “Free the Robots” received a multi-media-tastic video treatment to compliment the song’s paranoid processing of worldly events.
4. “47 Piirates”
Building on the success of Joey Bada$$’s 1999 mixtape, STEEZ re-released his own AmeriKKKan Korruption mixtape with a bunch of bonus songs added to the end of it. Acting almost like an EP in their own right, the new outings showcased a darker and more stripped-down production style, with Bada$$’s percussively cacophonous beat on “47 Piirates” underscoring the weight of STEEZ’s vocals.
5. “Like Water”
The opening track on what would be STEEZ’s final project, “Like Water” sparked the Pro Era crew’s recent PEEP: The aPROcalypse mixtape. Statik Selektah’s behind the boards and he laces the group with a melancholy track. The scratched-in intro that states “They say signs of the end is near” now causes chills to run up the spine. Shortly after STEEZ’s passing, Pro Era released a remix of the song paying tribute to their departed friend’s legacy.
Download Capital STEEZ’s Amerikkkan Korruption Reloaded here.