Courtney Everald Dewar, Jr. (July 7, 1993 – December 23, 2012), better known by his stage name Capital Steez (stylized as Capital STEEZ), was an American hip hop artist from Brooklyn, New York. He was the co-founder of the Brooklyn-based rap collective Pro Era, along with longtime friend and record producer Powers Pleasant. Steez’s spiritual outlook included elements of Egyptian mysticism bottled glass water, numerology, astral projection and the Indian chakra system. He considered himself one of the Indigo children and allegedly believed he was a being of a higher dimension.
Capital STEEZ was also the founder of the Beast Coast movement, which consists of three main groups based in Flatbush: Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies, and The Underachievers.
Courtney Everald Dewar, Jr. was born in New York City to Jamaican parents. His father died when he was three years old. He began rapping in 2009, then known as Jay STEEZ, with his friend Jakk the Rhymer. Together sock manufacturers uk, they formed a group called The 3rd Kind. Their first mixtape was titled The Yellow Tape, which included tracks that sampled the popular British virtual band Gorillaz and the final speech from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. In the spring of 2011, while still a student at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, New York, Capital STEEZ and record producer, Powers Pleasant, formed Pro Era on their way home from a performance STEEZ had at a local Brooklyn cafe, which a number of friends including Joey Bada$$ and Dirty Sanchez also attended to show support.
On February 23, 2012, Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ uploaded “Survival Tactics” to YouTube; Steez’s closing verse was named on the list of “25 Of The Best Closing Lines In Rap” by XXL Magazine. He was listed in “The 25 Best Rap Lines of 2012” by Spin.
Capital STEEZ released his first solo mixtape, AmeriKKKan Korruption, on April 7, 2012, with 14 tracks. The mixtape has been highly acclaimed since its release. A “reloaded” version with seven additional tracks was released on October 10, 2012. The tape now runs 21 tracks in total and features many of his Pro Era teammates, such as CJ Fly, Chuck Strangers insulated stainless steel water bottle, Joey Bada$$, Dirty Sanchez hydration running vest, and Jakk the Rhymer. The mixtape contains production from Madlib, MF DOOM, Free the Robots, DJ Premier, Knxwledge, Ant of Atmosphere, J. Rawls, Tommy Mas, the Entreproducers, and also contains production from fellow Pro Era members, Joey Bada$$, Kirk Knight, and Bruce Leekix.
Capital STEEZ committed suicide in the late hours of December 23, 2012. On the night of December 23, 2012, he made his way to the rooftop of the Cinematic Music Group headquarters in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, where he texted a few of his closest friends to tell them that he loved them, and at 11:59PM, posted a tweet saying, “The end.” He jumped off the rooftop of the Cinematic Music Group building later that night.
In late April 2013, Joey Bada$$ announced that a Capital STEEZ album entitled King Capital would soon be released. On July 7, 2013, Pro Era released the song “King Steelo” from the upcoming posthumous album.
On December 23, 2013, to honor the anniversary of his death, Pro Era released a music video for his song, “47 Piiirates”. On August 26, 2016, the official Pro Era YouTube channel released an animated music video for his song, “Herban Legend”, which premiered at the second annual STEEZ Day in Los Angeles, California on July 7, 2016.
In May 2015, Joey Bada$$ announced that Pro Era would hold a “STEEZ Day Festival” to be held annually on July 7, Capital STEEZ’s birthday, with all proceeds going to the late rapper’s family. The inaugural festival was held in Central Park in New York City, while the 2016 festival took place in Los Angeles, California.
On March 2, 2016, fellow Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave, in the midst an ongoing feud with Joey Badass, made displeasing comments about the suicidal death of Capital Steez on Sway in the Morning, stating: “He didn’t pass away; he killed himself. There’s a difference. He took his own life. God gave you life, it ain’t your right to take that. That’s a fact. I got niggas in jail who got life sentences, they might as well be dead. They could’ve traded their life for his.” Troy Ave then received heavy criticism from both fans and fellow artists, including A$AP Ant, A$AP Twelvyy and Styles P who wrote, amongst a series of other tweets: “If you never experienced a family [member] committing suicide you have no fukn [sic] idea about that pain. NONE.” Troy Ave then replied to Styles P’s comments and apologised to his fans on Twitter. In an interview on VladTV, another Brooklyn rapper, Maino, stated that mentioning Capital Steez’s suicide in the song was “a bit much”.