About Masspike Miles
To many music fans, Masspike Miles first came on their radar on Rick Ross’s “Get It Together.” Recording the smash with Ross in late 2008, Miles signed with Ross’s Maybach Music label.
This connection has lead to videos with Yo Gotti (“Here We Go”), Shawty Lo (“Perfect Women”) and even more collaborations with Ross: “Cigar Music” and “Love Drunk.” He’s also released a new mixtape, The Pursuit of Happiness hosted by Rick Ross & DJ Khaled.
Miles Wheeler is the product of Parisian mother and a father from Cape Verde, a collection of Portuguese-speaking islands off Africa’s West Coast. He was born in 1980 in Sacramento, California. As a child, Miles moved to Boston with his family to be closer to the city’s large Cape Verdean community.
Miles’ father, a jazzman, named his son after legendary trumpeter Miles Davis.
And it didn’t take the kid long to launch his own musical career. Miles quickly caught the eye of legendary R&B producer Maurice Starr, who also discovered New Kids On The Block and New Edition. Miles became the lead singer of Perfect Gentlemen, who Starr signed to Warner Bros in 1992. He was just 11 years old. Miles was soon working with artists like Bobby Brown, Dallas Austin, Eddie F and Montell Jordan.
But Perfect Gentlemen, despite their talent, never took off like Starr’s other acts. Miles sees this chapter in his life as vital music industry education. “The lessons I learned watching Maurice Starr equipped me for success,” he explains.
A key lesson was patience. He retreated to his Roxbury neighborhood. He alternately spent time working on music and falling into the streets. “This was a difficult time for me,” Miles admits. “But I always knew I’d return to the music business.”
By 1999, he formed the company and record label Life 4 Life enterprises with partners Roc Dukati and Smoke Bulga, who eventually signed to Epic/Sony records. While producing for his partners, he soon began writing and producing for artists like Fabolous, Stack Bundles, Freeway and B.G. He has recently formed Tha Track Dealers LLC production teams with Atagon1st.
Miles also expanded his brand, appearing movies like Dirty crimes and High stakes and modeling in The Source. Alongside business partner Gangsta Lean, he’s also developed “Ghetto Report DVD” featuring top entertainers speaking on everything from beef to respect.
For the time being, however, his main focus is his solo career. With The Pursuit of Happiness mixtape buzzing, Miles is preparing his debut album, The Struggle, for an upcoming release. MTV has also added both “Cigar Music” and “Money On Mind,” a Track Dealers (Masspike Miles & Antagonist) produced Smoke Bulga single feat. Jim Jones.
“Everything I’ve experienced in my life up until now – both the ups and the downs – has prepared me to succeed,” Miles says.
Masspike Miles had girls screaming way before he got his first tattoo or signed with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. The Roxbury, Massachusetts native used to get attention as a chubby kid during his stint in a short-lived R&B group in the early ’90s.
“The whole thing is, I was also in a group called Perfect Gentlemen under Maurice Starr, who started New Edition and New Kids on the Block,” Miles revealed. “So I was developed under Maurice Starr at a young age as well. I was on Warner Brothers at 11, 12 years old. I already had a taste of what was to come and what I had to deal with.”
Masspike (born Miles Wheeler) was the youngest member of the group and sang lead on their self-titled LP. Unfortunately, Perfect Gentlemen didn’t enjoy the longevity that New Edition and the New Kids did, and Miles soon found himself out of the game. He doesn’t blame Starr, however, whom New Edition accused of stealing money.
“A lot of people get into the game and they have this misconception of ‘I’m gonna be rich,’ ” Mass said of New Edition’s financial woes. “The game was totally different in the ’80s. Your percentage and your royalties are gonna be different. If you got five people in a group, you’re splitting $20,000 from a show — do the math. Twenty percent to the manager as well. At the end of the day, if you don’t save your money right, and you ain’t a proper hustler, then yeah, you’re gonna get a VCR at the end of the day. I don’t got nothing bad to say about Maurice Starr, ’cause he taught me a lot. And he taught them a lot. They wouldn’t be who they are if it wasn’t for him.”
Miles went from the stage to the street when his entertainment funds started to dry up.
“I was on the block, getting in trouble, getting locked up,” he said. “Holland Street in Roxbury. I was doing the things people do when they on the block. That’s why I speak that real language on them records. That’s my life. That’s what I lived. If I ain’t lived it, I’m speaking on something that my man lived and might have been a great concept to come up with. I was in the streets, then I took a step … Benzino and Dave Mays from The Source magazine saw me in the grind and took me and put under The Source magazine. So I was doing a lot of modeling and all of that. But I was mostly in the streets.”
While on his hustle, Masspike — named after the Massachusetts Turnpike that stretches from Springfield to Boston — kept producing records for himself and his business partner and fellow artist Smoke Bulga. Miles lucked out when he crossed paths with Rick Ross when the Bawse was on a promo run in Boston for Trilla.
“It’s an honor being in the presence of such greatness — that’s real language,” Miles said of working with the Miami chart topper. “It’s an honor to be in the studio with him. He’s a mastermind. You’re in the studio with somebody you know knows how to sell records — somebody you know who knows the game.”
Masspike got his chance to shine on “Cigar Music,” a bonus track off of Deeper Than Rap. A video was recently released on the Internet, in which Masspike gets his videographer on. He’s been the cameraman for many of Ross’ viral freestyle videos.
Masspike recently released his mixtape The Pursuit of Happiness with Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Bigga Rankin and others. He and Ross are fielding offers from major labels to distribute his debut LP.
“It’s an honor, it’s a pleasure and I’m totally excited to be able to be put in a position like that — being one of the artists to be able to come out of Massachusetts along with New Edition, New Kids on the Block, Bobby Brown, BBD. It’s an honor, point-blank, and I’m ready for it.”