It’s been nearly 10 years since Joey Badass’ close friend and Pro Era counterpart Capital Steez died by suicide just before Christmas. Now Joey has decided to pay tribute with his new song “Survivor’s Guilt,” which arrives on what would have been Steez’s 29th birthday.
Joey revealed the imminent surprise drop on Twitter, revealing the title and shouting out Steez.
“RIP CAPITAL STEEZ this one for you,” he tweeted.
Steez passed away after leaving a cryptic final tweet and jumping from the top of the Cinematic Music Group building. Longtime Badass fans might notice the track’s name bears resemblance to the classic 1999 cut “Survival Tactics,” which features Joey and Steez trading bars on one of the most memorable songs on that album.
Steez gets a brief monologue for nearly a minute at the top of the new song, with remarks including, “I’m just a open-minded individual, and people should be more open-minded. If we tryna build up our lives to have material things, and those don’t satisfy our needs, what are we living for?”
Joey opens his first verse, “Steezy told mе, ‘Get ’em,’ so I got ’em/Now my n***a gone, he will never be forgotten/Ever since he left, I just been strugglin’ without him.” His introspection continues with lines like, “Now I’m rich and rotten, everyday I think about him, it’s survivors guilt/Wishin’ I could’ve stopped him, let alone just know how he feel” as well as “I swear it feels weird how people could accuse me for his death/Sometimes I gotta shed a real tear/You see, the truth about Steelo, he lacked the mental health/But try to tell that to people way back in 2012/But now that it’s a mainstream topic/I’m guessin’ I can finally open up and talk about it.”
“Survivor’s Guilt” wraps with Joey’s “Enter the Void” collaborator Ab-Soul reminiscing on meeting Steez and Badass.
Despite some minor setbacks, Joey announced his long-awaited album 2000 will hit on July 22, supported by a tour to commemorate both the new project and his critically acclaimed mixtape 1999. The tour kicked off in Boston on July 1 and will travel stop at cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle before concluding in Los Angeles at the end of the month.
While we wait for 2000, listen to Joey Badass’ new song honoring his late friend Capital Steez, “Survivor’s Guilt,” below: