Nov 13, 2023
Miles Nxbxdy pushes the boundaries of hip-hop by challenging expectations and broadening horizons.
In the bustling world of hip-hop where trends come and go, there are a few artists who stand out with their unique style and unwavering authenticity. One such artist with introspective lyrics set to unconventional beats is delivering the goods by experimenting with the textures most often found in post-punk and industrial music. His name is Miles Nxbxdy.
Hailing from New Jersey, born and raised in the heart of the urban landscape, Miles Nxbxdy’s career began in 2017 but did not start to take off until 2018. After meeting producer Jason Freeze in Asbury Park in 2018 at a show, the two began to embark on a working partnership that is still going strong to this day.
From an early age, Miles was exposed to a rich musical tapestry, incorporating everything from gritty sounds to modern and experimental vibes. Miles weaves narratives with detail and emotional depth and is proving he is unafraid to tackle controversial topics and explore society’s underbelly. Plain and simple, Nxbxdy is an artist unafraid to speak the truth. He’s raw, he’s edgy, he’s honest … and he explores the darkness with carefully orchestrated songs that explore the full depth of human emotions. If I had to describe his music, I would have to categorize it as Art Rap. It does not sound like anything I have ever heard, and it is truly challenging expectations and broadening the horizons of hip-hop by bringing such a fresh perspective to the game.
I reached out to Miles recently so I could learn more about his songwriting, his background, and future projects. I was able to chat not only with Miles but also with his producer and partner-in-crime, Jason Freeze, where we discussed the music we love, the music we hate, and the state of the industry in general, as well as what makes up the music of Miles Nxbxdy.
With numerous collabs under his belt since 2018, including the likes of Desperry, Gnarly Nonsense of OFFTOPKILLS, and Drew the Recluse & h e a l (Craig Xen & Rico Nasty), Nxbxdy has shown he is unafraid to explore new horizons and the dark and intrapersonal side of rap, and it is refreshing. Take a moment to learn a little more about this artist who is pushing boundaries, then be sure to check out his discography.
MaM: I’ve been diving into all your music, and you have released quite a bit since 2017. Tell us a little more about your various projects and what initially led you to making music?
MN: It was about 2018 when I started taking music seriously. I have always had a background in it since I play four instruments, but in 2017 I released ‘Don’t 4get to Smile … Bitch’ and then in 2018 I released my album, ‘Free Bird for the Free World’ and that led into ‘Beautiful Scumbags’. When COVID-19 happened, I had to take a pause, but 2018 was when I truly started. I’m sort of a late bloomer.
MaM: Writing lyrics just to have them—did you ever think you would do anything with them?
MN: No, not really. … I didn’t take it seriously. When I released ‘Free Bird for the Free World’ was when I started taking it seriously because I was approached after the release by a couple of noteworthy people who liked my music, and their response was positive. I didn’t think it was that good, but when that happened, I thought, ‘Oh! I have talent!’
JF: Miles and I have this conversation a lot and I think music is more of a necessity for both of us. It would be harder to stop making music than it is to just make it. Even on days off, when I tell myself I’m going to chill, I end up making a beat.
MaM: I think all creative types are like that. We must be constantly creating. Do you have any other hobbies or interests outside of music?
MN: I have too many interests and hobbies.
MN: I’m into anime, manga, comics, and fashion. The cost of fashion is a little much, but I’m big into movies, too. I’ll watch a French film, a Japanese one, a Kai film … it all just depends.
MaM: My husband likes anime, too. Musically, what are your favorite genres and who would you say has been your biggest influence musically?
MN: Man, oh, that is a hard question. Right now, I’m really into 2000’s alt-rock. I like post-punk. I like jazz and classical, too. The only thing I’m not really into is opera and modern country. I’d say everything is worth a listen, though.
MaM: So, how would you describe the type of music you make? You have such a unique sound. What is your creative process like? Do you write to the beat or do the lyrics come first?
MN: We’ve been working a lot the last few years. We have two full albums being mixed right now. Since ‘Beautiful Scumbags’ and ‘Free Bird [for the Free World]’, the music has become more electronic.
JF: It has developed more since ‘Beautiful Scumbags’ for sure, and we both have become better at the craft.
MN: I generally tell people I make post-rap, though, because it has so many layers. You know when The Clash made ‘London Calling’? That album is considered punk, but some consider it post-punk because of all the elements to it. My music now has so many elements from other forms and styles that I don’t want to call it rap or punk rap or experimental rap because it’s more specific than experimental rap but not as noisy as industrial rap.
MaM: I’ll agree with post-rap. I think that’s an accurate way to describe it. With most rap, you can always find a tinge of influence to categorize it, but with you, I just can’t.
MN: That was the goal. In 2017, I went into a deep music hole where I got big into Joy Division, Maggot Brain, Janis Joplin, Jane Doe … an amalgamation of all these eclectic artists, but I didn’t want to make their music. I wanted to take elements from all of that. Because my music is so unique, it makes it difficult to push it.
JF: Miles will come in with an idea and it always ends up somewhere else. The beat usually comes first, but sometimes he’ll come in with lyric ideas as a starting point.
MN: The rule we follow is, ‘Don’t overthink it.’ If we overthink it, it becomes not good every time.
MaM: I can agree with that. Do you have plans to collaborate with any specific artists in the future, and if so, who?
MN: It’s funny that you ask that. Right now, I’m working on two albums with these artists I am friends with. One is named Braciola and the other is named Gnarly Nonsense. They are both going to be on the upcoming albums. As far as famous artists are concerned, I would love to work with Big K.R.I.T. and Trent Reznor. Trent and Death Grips are the dream. They are both active still, so we’ll see what happens.
MaM: Never say never! It could happen! I could see you guys opening for Nine Inch Nails. Let’s manifest that.
MN: That would be sick. I would also like to work with Tyler, the Creator. Most of the mainstream artists I have no interest in working with.
MaM: What is one message you would like to convey with your music?
MN: It’s okay to feel. A lot of my music is very emotional and dark. I scream for those who can’t. The whole idea behind Miles Nxbxdy is a play on a John Doe as anybody. I’m Miles Nxbxdy, so in that way, I’m a nobody, but I’ll be that somebody for you. My newer music that isn’t out yet is a long letter to my adolescent self and my childhood self. This is the music we could have used to work through emotions that we didn’t understand [growing up].
MaM: So, when can we expect the new music to drop?
MN: That’s a good question. Everything you’ve heard so far is good, but it’s more of a 4 [on a scale of 1-10] and this new stuff is more like a 9. We found someone in Brooklyn to mix it all and Jason found someone to master it. The final vocal mixing was recently, and honestly, we’ve been sitting on this material for some time.
JF: We’re aiming to have the music done by the end of the year, but then we must start the process of how it is going to be released.
MN: Maybe mid to late January? I’m not sure. 2024 definitely.
JF: We don’t want to just put it out there and have nothing happen. We want to find the best way to distribute it.
MaM: What does the future hold, you think? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
MN: I’m gonna be big in Japan collecting all the Manga.
MN: I legitimately believe we’re going to be big in Europe. The landscape of music is very different. I feel they have a different appreciation for music than Americans. It’s more celebrated there and here it’s more monetized. I truly feel Europe will embrace what we are doing first.
With a discography spanning from 2017-2021, including numerous releases and with two more currently on the way, Miles Nxbxdy is undoubtedly an artist worth watching in the contemporary hip-hop scene. With his unparalleled authenticity, he continues to push the boundaries of the genre and undoubtedly will inspire other artists to embrace their true selves and use music as a catalyst for change. To experience Miles Nxbxdy, hit one of the links below and be sure to give him a follow on social media.
Apple Music: Miles Nxbxdy - Apple Music
Spotify: Miles Nxbxdy | Spotify
Amazon Music: Miles Nxbxdy on Amazon Music
YouTube: Miles Nxbxdy - YouTube
*cover photo courtesy of Jeff Crespi
Nicole Brice loves music. Plain and simple. Good tunes are good tunes. Do you have something you think she’d love? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.