By Will Mahony
Forget the rumors about Eva Mendes using the treadmills in Alumni Gym (Editor’s Note: This rumor is actually true!) or Ryan Gosling cutting the omelet line in West Dining—there’s a star on campus, and he’s actually enrolled.
In the last five months, Union freshman and Manhattan-native Myles Mills, a.k.a. Skizzy Mars, has risen from obscurity, and become one the most buzzed-about unsigned rappers in the country.
Despite the fact that he didn’t start rapping until the summer going into his senior year of high school, at the ripe age of 18, he’s become a sensation on college music blogs and is being courted to sign a record contract.
As a kid, he frequently wrote poetry and rhymes, but didn’t start to verbalize them until his friends encouraged him to do so in 2010. He then met producer David Yassky, who gave him the beat for the song “Douchebag.” They released a few well-received tracks together in the beginning of 2011, but really caught fire this summer with songs like “Douchebag,” “Tara” and “Colors (Stars).”
Skizzy Mars merges genres (check the No Doubt sample in “Tara”), drawing inspiration from Kanye West, Drake, Beirut and The Killers. On the track “Profound,” he raps that he sounds like, “Drake, Cudi and Wiz combined.”
With such a distinct voice and the ability to pen sharp and witty lyrics, the sky is the limit for Skizzy Mars.
While attending the Browning School in New York City, Mills visited some old high school friends that go to Union and fell in love with the place.
His passion for studying the English language was also a draw, considering Union’s strong liberal arts program. Mills is currently balancing his pursuit of an English degree with a steady touring schedule.
A few weeks ago, he performed in Dallas with Chris Webby. In the coming weekends, he’ll be performing at Emory University, Arkansas University, George Washington University and College Fest in Boston, alongside popular acts such as Hoodie Allen and The Deans List. A performance at Union may even be in store.
Within the next month, his debut mix tape will dropping, after which he plans to tour and build his fan base. Within the year, he hopes to be signed to a big-time record contract and rapping full time.
Mills hinted at some upcoming collaborations with the likes of Chester French, Hoodie Allen, Brenton Duvall and G-Eazy.
When asked where he sees himself in four years, he answered, “I see myself being one of the biggest rappers in the game.” After a brief pause Mills laughs and said, “Something drastic would have to happen for me not to be one of the biggest rappers in the game… Every time I make a song I realize that I have more things to say.”
The self-claimed “douchebag” may come off as such through his rapper persona, but Mills is taking his success in stride. “If you told me in April I’d be touring I’d never believe it… In Dallas I was signing T-shirts for fans… It’s all just really humbling.”