Two years ago, Mark Steele had all the makings of a breakout moment. He had garnered major placements for his music, appearing in NBA and NCAA promotional campaigns, landing co-signs on Dr. Dre and Ebro Darden's respective Beats 1 radio shows, and freestyling alongside the likes of Statik Selektah all while having the privilege of calling 9th Wonder his mentor.
Then, things went silent. Steele would arrive with the occasional drop or two as proof of life, but all the while, the silence was what we heard the most.
This year, Steele broke the hiatus with his Before A Minute mixtape, as the opener to his long-awaited It's Been A Minute project. Marking his third studio outing, It's Been A Minute also makes for a significant moment in Steele's journey as he admits that two years ago while he was getting all the major looks for his sophomore album Almost Time, he wasn't using his potential to its maximum.
"I recorded that album in my bedroom closet. I rushed everything," he reveals. Although he says the project met great reviews, he felt that he owed it to himself and his listeners to "give 1000% effort."
Now that effort has manifested with his latest. Linking up with the likes of No Malice, G. Yamazawa and producer Khrysis, Mark Steele now ushers in a new narrative.
"I needed a story to tell. So, I broke my lease, lived out of my car for 6 months and got a gym membership to take showers," Mark reveals of the story behind his latest project. "I didn't tell anyone. I went to work every day just like a normal person and hung out with friends and family like everything was fine. It forced me to go to a high-quality studio and record and mix with someone better than me. It forced me to create music that would stamp a time period in my life everytime I heard it. It forced me to look outside my comfort zone and embrace everything I never knew. I took my time, and wouldn't stop until I got it right."