LONGLIVESTEELO

by Evan Froiland

Three years ago today, 19 year old Capital STEEZ jumped off the roof of the Visionary Music Group building in New York City. There are many theories and conspiracies about STEEZ's death, but it is clear that he was mentally ill. In retrospect, certain lines of his stand out as foreshadowing to his suicide. 

I was 15 years old on December 24th, 2012. Needless to say, super impressionable. Joey Bada$$' 1999 came out on June 12, 2012, as I was really getting into underground hip-hop for the first time. Somehow or another, I stumbled upon 1999 shortly after it was released, and I couldn't stop listening. To this day, it is one of my absolute favorite projects ever. STEEZ features three times on 1999, including on Survival Tactics, which has one of the first music videos I really fell in love with. 

It took me a few listens to really pick out STEEZ from the crowd of Pros (Pro Era) featuring on 1999, but once I did, STEEZ's AmeriKKKan Korruption got even more play from me than 1999 did. His lyrical prowess constantly amazed me. Aside from listening to his mixtape, I was always watching his freestyle videos, reading whatever I could about him - STEEZ was my rap hero. I couldn't really relate to or understand a lot of what he was talking about, but that was almost part of the draw to me. I pretended I understood, and I thought I was cool as fuck. I sort of was - it's still cool to me that I was listening to STEEZ when I was 15. 

I haven't had much experience with death, so STEEZ's death hit me harder than anybody other than my grandfather's has. I was sad, but the more notable part of it was just disappointment. I was convinced STEEZ was going to change the world, and in my mind, that came to a screeching halt. Now I think I was wrong. As sometime happens, STEEZ gained more notoriety in light of his death, and left a definite legacy behind. 

47. The balance between the fourth and seventh chakra. The heart and the brain. 

LongLiveSteelo.