RapRehab.com: Newport News VA native Izze the Producer is a young, up and coming hip hop producer that already has production credits with some of the biggest artists in the game including Chief Keef, Young Jeezy, and Waka Flocka. Izze is focused, on the grind, and is currently set to have a big year building the brand “Honorary Members”. Izze sat down with writer Sly Solomon of RapRehab.com to talk about what he has going on in 2014…
RapRehab.com: Basketball seemed like it was your first love… so before we get into the music, who do you think is the best player in the game right now?
Izze: I’ve been a Kevin Durant fan for a while and he’s the best in the league. He was an underdog and now look at him. Salute to KD35
RapRehab.com: Was the decision to transition your future plans from basketball to music an easy one?
Izze: No it wasn’t for the simple fact that basketball was my first love, and I didn’t have any intention of being a producer. This is Gods work. I knew I would be a basketball star but it just didn’t turn out that way.
RapRehab.com: A lot of people think they want to do music professionally… but they have a hard time making money. How were you able to transition from music as a hobby to music paying the bills?
Izze: It was a smooth transition for me. Staying prayed up and staying on my grind made it easy and kept everything on track. I’m a strong believer in Christ so I had faith that everything would be ok and it was. The game has totally changed, so you have to be ready for whatever is thrown your way. Honestly, I paid bills on my own by working part time before I started getting paid from music. My grind was real and I would do anything that made me the money to fund my career until things picked up. It’s like once you start getting money you have a little breathing room to say “hey man I can pay this whole bill this month easy”. You don’t want to look back, so you grind harder. Getting paid from music is a motivator. You have to struggle before you succeed… But when you make money doing what you love… it becomes easy to do what you need to take care of you and yours.
RapRehab.com: It seems that your manager has been instrumental in helping you grow. How did you form that relationship and how has that impacted your career?
Izze: Yes he has. He pushed me to be better than I thought I was and told me to always stay focused and in my lane. We never stop working. When we first started to grind together, he stayed on me and gave me that criticism that I needed prepare myself for the game. It’s like he’s my trainer and he will do whatever it takes to get me to the next level of competition. He’s been my mentor, manager, and brother. Salute to my manager Moe!
RapRehab.com: Being on the independent grind as a producer… what advice do you have for other people coming into the industry independently?
Izze: Trust your team and stay focused. Everyone on the team has to put forth the same amount of effort and heart. Everyone has to push each other to go harder. There is no “I” in team. Take criticism in stride and accept it, because your pride doesn’t stand a chance in this game. Outwork your competition and stay focused on yourself and your team. Nothing comes easy. You have to be able to rely on your team and you need to produce results for them as well.
RapRehab.com: What is the story behind “Honorary Members”?
Izze: It’s the production company me and my manager came up with to help producers with an overlooked sound. It’s a team full of underdogs all hungry and focused on winning.
RapRehab.com: How can people find you?
Izze: You can follow me via twitter and Instagram @izzetheproducer
Sly Solomon is a writer, business consultant, and artist manager. Contact him on twitter @SlySolomon