Born and bred in the heart of Connecticut, Hip Hop artist Izzy Velez is on a mission to bring his story to the world and to bring a return to raw, reality rap. While spending his early years living in a predominantly Puerto Rican area of South Norwalk, CT, gentrification of the area forced Izzy’s family to relocate to the city of Bridgeport. With this change in environment, Izzy spent his childhood exposed to a large spectrum of lifestyles and choices. While his family’s history is rooted in the streets, poverty and criminal activity, Izzy was able to witness success and wealth as he saw his father go from serving prison sentences to prospering in business.
This dichotomy is evident in his strong roots in Hip Hop. Izzy’s father, whose favorite rapper is Rakim, instilled both the principles of Hip Hop and the interest in classic ’90s artists such as The Notorious B.I.G., DMX and Izzy’s favorite emcee, Nas. From buying the hottest cassette tapes as a seven-year-old to buying blank cassettes to make his own mixtapes from late-night Hot97 mixes, Izzy took the values and expanded in his own curiosity.
After spending years building his sound and directing his artistic vision, Izzy is ready to release his first project, “Sophisticated Ignorance.” The project encompasses and narrates the juxtapositions in Izzy’s life—touching on poverty and fortune, humble beginnings and worldly ideas, rugged street rap and intimate introspection. Each song varies in its style and subject matter—from personal stories to motivational themes, violent rap to intricate storytelling—but each varying message resonates on a personal level. “Sophisticated Ignorance” is a multi-layered, multi-faceted project which brings to reality the income gap within Izzy’s environment, a microcosm for the larger disparity felt around the world. Izzy’s first single from the project, “Life Is For The Taken,” is a perfect example of this message. The song, filled with smooth synths over hard-hitting kicks and snares, provides a canvas for Izzy to speak to himself about his need to make it out of the streets and the potential brightness of the world around him if he works hard enough. The visual for the single, set in and around a bodega on a dimly-lit street corner, helps bring context to the song’s message and clarity to Izzy’s personal struggle. Check out the video for “Life Is For The Taken” below.
He plans to release “Sophisticated Ignorance” in February/March 2016.