Saturday, November 21, 2020

S.T.E.E.L - Realism - 1996

This is the kind of stuff we'd like to see coming out on physical format like the rest of S.T.E.E.L unreleased material recorded at that time. Unfortunately the excellent "Realism" is the only track available nowadays from that batch recorded by S.T.E.E.L in the mid-90s, because all the tracks and their original masters are lost... 

S.T.E.E.L a.k.a Black S.T.E.E.L is an emcee from 7th Ward, New Orleans. His track "Realism" was produced in 1996 by his friend Yuset Pozo from Kenner, New Orleans. In 2001 it was remixed by Yuset who did what he could with what they had and in 2005 the track appeared on the Goldmic Compilation titled "Insurgency" which was released on CD only.

Could you tell us how everything started for you exactly ?

S.T.E.E.L : "I was just an avid writer in elementary and high school. Kinda made the switch to actually rapping after being urged to consider it by a friend of mine, who ended up giving me the name "Black Steel", after the Public Enemy song of the same title. Got shortened to S.T.E.E.L., and it's been that ever since."

S.T.E.E.L - Photo courtesy of S.T.E.E.L

Yuset Pozo : "I didn't start as a producer... I was a rapper in a group called Nubian Tribe... then later called it 3 Flavors... got lucky to find someone to put some money behind us and went to studios by 15. From there I met a producer named DJ Edward Precise...I sat next to him while he make tracks on EPS 16 choppin shit up...I knew I wanted to mess with beats right then...I was about 16 and got a settlement check from an accident and I bought my own keyboard and went to town...I was already practicing on a ASR-10 that a friend had...I had made a few beats that I rapped on and S.T.E.E.L laid that master piece and the rest is history... "

Yuset Pozo - Photo courtesy of Yuset Pozo 

How did the connection happen between both of you ? 

S.T.E.E.L : "Oh, we've been friends since around 91, 92. Just being in the same circle of people who shared the same love for the culture. Yuset and our friend Tito are the tie that binds, honestly. The 3 of us are still very close to this day."

Yuset Pozo :"Through WTUL (Tulane University-New Orleans) was a local radio station and through that we got to know rappers from the city like Psyco Ward and his crew was called Transparent.. and we were called Scratch Pro.. we did it all from scratch...

S.T.E.E.L was also working with DJ Khaled when he was living out here and I was cool with Khaled too before he moved to Orlando."

S.T.E.E.L, were you affiliated with a crew at that time ?

S.T.E.E.L : "Not particularly. When we recorded that song, I was still just kinda doing my own thing, trying to figure out how and where I fit in on the scene. I mean, I had friends who were active, but I was always the standout, so to speak."

Yuset, what were your music influences ?

Yuset Pozo : "Pete Rock and Dr Dre.. later was DJ Premier and Tony Dofat, No I.D. from Chicago who did Common album and Tribe Called Quest productions."

Why is there nothing else recorded after that ? Why is there no 12" or album released ?

S.T.E.E.L : "Never signed a deal, lots of music lost or destroyed, etc...

Actually... I take that back, I did sign a deal, back in 99, nothing ever came of it though. We recorded some music... The company -- local startup -- refused to release it. The files for that are also long gone...Katrina wiped away a lot of what we had..."

For all the wax diggers, the track contains a sample of the song "And Here You Are" performed by the Jazz-fusion group Stuff, and released in 1977.

LP - 1977 - Jet Sunshine Records 

Mad Props to S.T.E.E.L & Yuset, thanks for the interview. 

1 comment:

  1. Same sample: