The New Haven, Conn. rapper first began as a dancer for EPMD before breaking out on his own as a rapper in 1989. He was 51.
Posted 2 hours ago Source: Steve Stezo Williams / Instagram The Hip-Hop community is once again gathered in mourning and remembrance after news that rapper Stezo has passed away at the age of 51. As a former dancer for EPMD , Stezo broke out on his own in the late 1980s and went on to establish himself as an entrepreneur. Stezo was born Steve Williams in New Haven, Conn. and was a relative of Dooley-O, also from Connecticut, who is credited as the first Hip-Hop artist to sample the classic Its A New Day breakbeat from 1970s band, Skull Snaps. Most first took notice of Stezo after his appearance in EPMDs You Gots To Chill video, complete with some epic dance moves as Erick E Double Sermon and Parrish PMD Smith cool and confident rhyming took centerstage. He went on to embark upon a rap career in 1989, releasing his debut album Crazy Noise and dropping a pair of well-received singles in To The Max and the hit Its My Turn. Some accounts put Its My Turn as the first recording to use the Skull Snaps break, and was produced by Stezo. According to a Micro-Chop interview, Chris Lowe, who was Stezos DJ, along with Dooley-O and Stezo were all into the beat digging scene and made pause tapes before graduating to actual samplers and drum machines. The legendary Paul C. McKasty aligned himself with Stezo and served as an engineer for the Crazy Noise project according to Discogs . Stezo went on to release two more albums in 1997s Wheres The Funk At and 2005s C.T. (The Lost State). He was also the owner of two barbershops, with one location recently opening in Charlotte, N.C. Stezo kept his Hip-Hop ties intact, shouting out DITCs Lord Finesse in a recent birthday post. As the news of Stezos loss has gone wide, many Hip-Hop notables have shared memories and their condolences which well list below. Wed like to join them in expressing our warmest thoughts for those who knew and loved Stezo. May he rest powerfully in peace. Photo: Instagram 1. I never knew the brother, but he made some of the best records in one of the most competitive and innovative periods in hip-hop. Saddened to hear he lost his life. Thank you for the music, Stezo! Stretch Armstrong (@StretchArmy)