Latin Conference & Awards
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SMTH, Capital STEEZ, 'Last Straw': Exclusive Song Premiere
'STEEZ was a wizard with words to say the least,' SMTH says.
Two words: "The end." It was a tweet that came from Jamal Dewar, more commonly known as Capital STEEZ, on Dec. 23, 2012. No one knew what it meant or what it referred to until a day later, when the 19 year-old took his own life.
Capital STEEZ's unfortunate and untimely death is still a concern to the hip-hop community several months later, and although we may never be able to pinpoint what led to this tragedy, one fact is for certain: STEEZ left an impression on not only the New York streets that raised him, but the world, too.
Today The Juice is premiering "Last Straw," the last song STEEZ recorded before his death. The song, a part of Brooklyn-based rapper SMTH's mixtape, "The SMTH Project," was recorded five days prior to STEEZ's passing.
Inspired by artists such as Jay-Z, Michael Jackson and Prince, SMTH began rapping at 12 years-old, his lyrical talents resulting in a nomination for "Street Album Of The Year" at the Justo Mixtape Awards in 2008. With "The SMTH Project," SMTH continues to prove his worth as he makes the transition from underground to mainstream rapper, enlisting the help of fellow rappers Sean Price, Ril Eazy, Maffew Ragazino and the late Capital STEEZ.
Produced by DJ Spinna, "Last Straw" is a testament to what STEEZ's lyrical abilities were capable of, and how much potential the young man had. The anger and frustration behind every line he spits embodies whatever troubles were plaguing him during his final days, his verse disappearing as quick as it appeared.
"STEEZ was a wizard with words to say the least," SMTH tells The Juice. "Between our verses and the ill beat from DJ Spinna I knew this was something special. I'm just thankful to say I've worked with someone who cared about creating real hip-hop just as much as me."
STEEZ was always an integral part in Flatbush's thriving hip-hop scene. He's credited for bringing together Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies and the Underachievers under the popular Beast Coast umbrella, with the groups creating some of New York's most acclaimed hip-hop.
But, along with being a hip-hop diplomat, STEEZ was a lyrical wordsmith. For most of us, our first introduction to the young rapper was when he guested on fellow Pro Era cohort Joey Bada$$'s "Survival Tactics." STEEZ's raps were precise and impressionable, and once he dropped his own mixtape, "AmeriKKKan Korruption," it was safe to assume that the rapper would be next in line for the Pro Era takeover.
STEEZ wanted to be a superhero and in a way, he was one: a man whose legacy will continue to live on for years to come.