Hofstra’s student-run record label, Mane Records, recently announced the signing of its first recording artist. For this landmark step, the record label signed rising rap artist and Hofstra alumnus IzzeYe.
Hailing from Chester, Pennsylvania, Rashaan Perkins, who now goes by his stage name IzzeYe, aims to produce “groovy rap” music.
“It’s definitely a rollercoaster,” IzzeYe said of his sound. “I feel like I make the kind of music where people can feel like they are escaping, and they can just take a ride with me.”
IzzeYe began moving around as a young teenager, and the various places he has lived influence his lyrics. Moving around and seeing how different people exist has allowed him to create music people can relate to.
“I get influenced by people’s day-to-day things,” IzzeYe said. “I embrace flaws within my life and within society.”
Mane Records decided on developing IzzeYe’s sound because students who run the label felt it helps them reach their target audience.
“Our prime demographic is college students, and hip hop is so big with our generation and him being a Hofstra alumnus, it is super valuable [in] reaching them,” said Mane Records publicist, sophomore Brian Sommer.
Pursuing his music career while being a student was difficult, IzzeYe explained. He released a few singles starting in 2013, but took a break two years later.
“In 2015, I kind of fell off the Earth on purpose because I didn’t want to give the identity I was giving. I felt like I was a whole new person,” IzzeYe said.
Then, in January 2016, he dropped a single titled “Highs & Lows.”
“It has a green cover,” IzzeYe said of the single. “In life, I feel like everything is a balance, like highs and lows. That’s what I feel like the song embraced, so I went with green because if you look at the color wheel, green embraces the mood.”
IzzeYe agreed to sign with Mane Records because “their approach was a mutual thing; they were like ‘we can build together.’ They’re new and I’m still new, and we can all do what we love to do,” he said.
“We had a couple different final options, and they were all very different stylistically,” said Mane Records artist manager, senior Ryan Maher. “In the end, we felt IzzeYe’s music had so much potential … everyone at the label gets along, and IzzeYe meshes very well with us.”
Fashion plays an important role in understanding IzzeYe’s brand. “His visual aesthetic is important to his brand, and can help people identify with him,” Sommer said.
IzzeYe uses his fashion as a way to feel his best. “My niche is my fashion, and it kind of incorporates into my personality. It identifies me,” IzzeYe said. “I don’t get dressed for people, I get dressed for myself.”
Fans can expect a lot to come from IzzeYe now that he is working with Mane Records.
“They’ve already helped me grow, I just did like six songs in two days, and I’ve never done that before,” IzzeYe said. “They believed in me more than I believed in me, and they’ve been teaching me a lot about believing in myself.’
Mane Records says listeners can expect an EP and a music video to be released shortly.
“It’s been a grind,” Maher said of the process. “But, the label came together and you can expect Mane Records and IzzeYe to just be everywhere.”