Joe Steele

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This artist formed the hip-hop ensemble Little Egypt in 1994, working with a posse of similarly motivated performers from the Brooklyn music scene. As is basically required by this genre, Joe Steele began…
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This artist formed the hip-hop ensemble Little Egypt in 1994, working with a posse of similarly motivated performers from the Brooklyn music scene. As is basically required by this genre, Joe Steele began using an offbeat stage name, Visual Poetics, a move which in his case has the auxiliary benefit of preventing confusion with a much earlier jazz pianist also named Joe Steele. For the more dry credit of executive producer, Visual Poetics turned around -- perhaps turntabled around would be more appropriate -- and used his real name, unfortunately leading to some inexplicable credits in the discography of the pianist who had been dead for at least two decades by the time the term rap was even invented.

Rapper and bandleader Steele had toiled as a DJ while studying engineering at Carnegie Mellon, in these years utilizing the moniker of DJ Technique. Other members of the Little Egypt project include Forge -- a singer and not a place to fabricate swords -- as well as Taajwar, Bravestar, Tacuma-Diop, and Strategy. As if these weren't enough weird names, the combined ensemble is also sometimes known as L.E. Apostles. In the mid-'90s the group began gigging at New York City venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and SOBs. Little Egypt's first recording, Sunrise was released in early 2000.