Steele I got the name Steele from my boy Minasaur of the Decepticons (street gang in the late 80's). He gave me the name SteelePunch. It took me a while to get a name. I had to put in work. Hail The Real Megatron. The General came from rapping and lessons in life.I took the position when it was offered to me thru situations and circumstance. It becomes less about rap and more about evolving as an individual and what you can contribute to the team or your fam. So I evolved into General Steele and I continue to find new meanings for this title as I travel thru life.
E.T. What projects are you currently working on?
Steele I just released my 2nd lp off my BucktownUsaEnt. imprint thru my fam DuckDown. Its entitled Amerikkkas Nightmare2/Children of War. Its very socio-politically orientated. I'm currently working with a new few artist for BTU ENT. My boy Louie Skaggs aka Mantecha Music,Vvs Verbal,Backblocks,Nicole Michelle,Wayne White. And of course Tek and I are mixing the new album with Pete Rock,release set for Aug-Sept 2010.But thats just the music.
E.T. You've been around for a minute, and your definitely a veteran within the hip-hop culture. What can you tell us about the industry?
Steele "The Music (Rap/HipHop)Industry" is just like any other industry. Like the automobile industry or prostitution(haha). It's competitive its exploitative and heartless yet it can be rewarding. It knows no face and has no allegiances other than money and power. It's robotic. It helps and hurts the art form in great respects. That's why many artist (not all) die broke, depressed or resort to drugs, crime, etc. yet they may be revered across the world as this great artist. Which they very well may be. But the industry is an entity of itself. I say know the industry learn how to flow in the industry especially if you are trying to sell something be it a service a message or a product but don't become possessed by the industry.
E.T. "Amerikkkas Nightmare Part 2 children of war" is a powerful album. What fueled this particular project, and what do you think of the current state of America?
Steele I released a mixcdee in 2004 called Amerikkkas Nightmare. It was addressing socio-political issues then over pre-released hip hop tracks. It was pretty hard core. I was broke with a new company a mortgage a son and mad equipment in my basement. So I got mad one day and started that project. Now before I go any further I have to say that I am a fan of Spice 1 who did an album in the late 90's titled Amerikkkas Nightmare. So that inspired me as well. So when the time came around I always had the thought of doing a part 2 I just didn't know when. When the socio-political climate changed and we got a new President I began to analyze things differently. I witnessed despair amongst people especially my peers. I guess I felt compelled to speak about the current events that seemed to be reoccurring. So I got to work but I knew it couldn't be just a mixcdee.
E.T. Who is involved in the Bucktown USA movement other than yourself?
Steele Tek n Steele (SmifnWessun) is my inspiration. Cynical Smith is my partner in the biz and life. K. Montgomery my counsel in law,life and biz. Sundree Brand mgt. team,L.Skaggs,Dr. Postalot-online promo,Che Triumphe and 7venHD on (inhouse) production and there are a few others. DuckDown is instrumental as well.
E.T. Back in the 90's, mainstream radio played artists such as yourself, biggie, wu-tang etc. What do you think of mainstream artists today? (lil wayne, drake, kid cudi etc.)
Steele I like what Wayne,Drake,Cudi are doing creatively. There are a few others as well. But for the record mainstream radio sucks...that's just my opinion. I like a lot of these artist but I don't want to listen to their songs every hour on the hour. I think it takes something from the artist and sometimes people stop liking the music because they hear it so much not because they dislike the artist. Radio programmers can ruin the art. No fault of the artist although there have always been wack artist.But that's just a matter of who's listening.
E.T. BTU-TV is a great way of keeping up with hip-hop, Its like Video Music Box... Bucktown Style! What made you want to go on this video journey through hip-hop?
Steele My partner Cynical forced me..haha. I'm glad she did!
E.T. What's good with Boot Camp Click?
Steele The family is in tact
E.T. Who does The General support now a days?
Steele My kids, my fam, my comrades in life and liberation, good music from all genres, the homeless man that I see on my block the list goes on man
E.T. What can we expect from General Steele in the years to come?
Steele There will always be music,more travelling, there are a few places I havent been to yet. Expansion and growth for my company Bucktown Usa Ent. I'm grooming a couple of artist on the BTU roster. Louie Skaggs, Wayne White, Nicole Michelle just to name a few. I'm working on a couple of documentaries with my partner. I got a few books I'm working on. But one of my main focuses aside from BTU will be heavy community involvement. I'm currently involved with a non profit organization called Advocates Without Borders with a good friend of my mine Dr.Floyd Patterson. We are embarking on the task of educating people about Autism. It's causes, effects ,symptoms and possible treatments.
E.T. Element-Tree is my way of keeping people on top of that real hip-hop. How do you feel about this movement of paying respect to those that deserve to be respected, and giving exposure to all the up and coming artists that keep that real hip-hop sound alive?
Steele I salute movements like this and I am honored to be considered as one who deserves to be respected. I am grateful to take part as I am grateful to people like Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaata for exposing me to the art.
E.T. Any last thoughts?
Steele Keep it linked to http://www.bucktownusa.com/, http://www.duckdown.com/, http://my.bucktownusa.com/ (the social site) and Element-Tree....Smif-N-Wessun&Pete Rock album "Monumental" drops this Fall 2010....need I say more?
Give Thanks, Peace, Power & Prosperity. -General Steele
PEACE AND RESPECT TO GENERAL STEELE FOR ALL THE YEARS OF CLASSIC HIP-HOP!
ALSO PEACE TO L.I.F.E.LONG FOR THE PICS AND ALL THE SUPPORT... YOU ARE TRULY APPRECIATED!