On Christmas Eve, Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew suffered a heartbreaking loss with the death of their friend and fellow rapper Capital STEEZ . The 19-year-old posted one final note, “The end,” on Twitter before he was confirmed dead hours later, suggesting he committed suicide. But just this month, he’d excitedly previewed music from their new Peep the Aprocalypse mixtape with MTV News.
While his friends, fans and family mourn, Capital STEEZ, born Jamal Dewar, will be remembered for his sharp tongue on tracks like “Vinyls” on Peep the Aprocalypse and his important role in the growth of Pro Era.
“Honestly, number one, I couldn’t do it without these dudes,” Joey Bada$$ told MTV News during the shoot, as Capital STEEZ and the rest of Pro Era stood by his side. “Number two, if the world here is done, then they’ll understand why Joey is even Joey. It’s all of us together in this. We all really got the skills and it needs to shine together, not just one [person].”
STEEZ chimed in, explaining that it was important for them to work their way up from the bottom. “I could relate to Chuck [Strangers] about being at the bottom of the totem pole,” he said. “You put yourself in a mind state [where you] lower your expectations, something big is always gonna happen. And that’s the mind state. I gotta keep reminding myself every day. That’s how I kinda stay afloat.”
After breaking down the importance of their group dynamic, Capital STEEZ went on to explain how some of the tracks like “Vinyls” (featuring Dessy Hinds and Nyck Caution) came about, before spitting his own verse for the camera (seen in the video above). “Dessy was recording it, I was in the other room, and they were like, ‘Yo STEEZ, lay a verse’ and I did it,” he said. “I just synchronized in, that’s usually how it happens. I just stepped into place.”
Over the weekend, a remixed version of Pro Era’s “Like Water” from Peep the Aprocalypse surfaced, with a dedication to Capital STEEZ.
If you or someone you know has had thoughts of suicide, there’s help at HalfOfUs.com.