hip hop icon Stezo dead at 51; Questlove, DJ Premier, Pete Rock & more pay tribute
Old school hip hop icon, rapper, producer, dancer, and EPMD affiliate Stezo (aka Steve Williams) has sadly passed away. His producer Chris Lowe confirmed the news on Twitter. Cause of death is not yet known. He was 51.
Since the news broke, several fellow musicians have been paying tribute to Stevo. Questlove wrote:
This is gonna happen a lot. Before Hammer’s pants, there was #Stezo...before we all abused that #SkullSnaps #ItsANewDay break...there was Stezo. Before #AtomicDog fed an ENTIRE GENRE....there was Stezo. While your favorite rapper was asking so & so & such & such to do some beats for em....Stezo was doing it all himself. I mean for gods sake this man made #SteveMartin cool to a hip hop generation too young to get King Tut/The Jerk/& a wild & crazy guy references—-he turned Steve Martin into the coolest verb EVER in 1988 (google #EPMD’s #YouGotsToChill video to see dances that defined a generation—-we talk about MCs/producers/videos/movies/icons from 87-92 but rarely give light to the iconic dances that came from that era—Stezo was always my fav dancer from this era (yes I know the Kid N Play dance was iconic too) but when you don’t have a partner to kick it with? Then yknow...lol——this dude is displaying ALL the moves that others will build empires on. Damn this damn virus man. Damn. Thank you @stezodezo
DJ Premier said, "R.I.P. STEZO. You Made Sure That "THERES NO WAY THAT THE CROWD COULD SIT DOWN"... Condolences To Your Family."
Stretch Armstrong said "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!" And in a quote-tweet of The Source founding editor Jonathan Schecter's tweet about Stezo's 1989 debut, Stretch added, "Whole album was flames. Hearing Pete Rock cut up Stezo “Gets Into His Groove” on WBLS’s In Control was/is nirvana."
Pete Rock himself said, "WOW!! R.I.P. STEZO SPOKE TO HIM ABOUT 2 MONTHS AGO WOW."
Here are some more...
Rest in peace, Stezo. Here are a couple classic videos: