Pro Era’s Capital STEEZ is gone, but not forgotten. The rising Brooklyn MC took his own life on Christmas Eve, but on Sunday, Joey Bada$$, the rest of the PE rap collective and their fans celebrated STEEZ’s life and even aided in the release of his “Apex” music video, which premiered on mtvU.
The “Apex” clip, which was directed by Daniel Duarte, features STEEZ and a number of Pro Era crewmembers marching through the 47th-50th Street subway station in Midtown Manhattan. For Duarte, who is an in-house director for clothing company LRG in California, the opportunity to direct STEEZ happened by chance during an NYC trip last August. “We went out there and we just randomly ran into Joey and STEEZ and all them, they were just riding their bikes on the street,” he told MTV News over the phone on Monday (April 8). “We were listening to some music and I just threw it out there like, ‘Hey I’m in town, I got my camera on me if you guys want to try and do something.”
STEEZ was into the idea of shooting a video, but they didn’t have much time to do it, so together they settled on “Apex,” the one-minute, 16-second closer on CS’ AmeriKKKan Korruption mixtape. “I liked the way the song moved too… it just seemed right, so we kind of a just went for it,” Duarte said.
The idea for the video was for STEEZ to make his way down the subway steps, over the turnstyle and to the station platform to catch the train just as the track was ending. The entire shoot took about four hours. “He was just into it. He was excited, he was ready to go. It was mellow though, it was no stress,” the director told us of STEEZ’s demeanor. “He was always kind of quiet, but he was really nice. That’s why I like those kids a lot — all of them, that whole Pro Era crew, they were super cool kids.”
Though the video had been ready for some time, STEEZ’s team thought it would be most appropriate to release it on April 7, a day Joey dubbed #CAPITALSTEEZDAY on Twitter. “They kind of just thought it was fitting to release it because STEEZ has this connection to that number 47,” Duarte explained.
“eye really miss you bro. not a day has gone by that eye haven’t thought of you. May your soul rest in peace… till we meet again..,” Joey wrote on Twitter yesterday before he got his fallen friend’s name to trend with heartfelt fan interaction.
What do you think of Capital STEEZ’s “Apex” video? Let us know in the comments!