Lorain teacher and rapper inspiring students, making mark in music industry

LORAIN, OH (WOIO) - From the classroom to the studio, a teacher from Lorain is living his dream and catching a lot of eyes and ears in the music industry.

Miles Jones' love of music started as a kid with his parents signing him up for piano lessons. By his teenage years, Jones was listening to rap artists like Notorious B.I.G. which inspired him to start writing poetry, rhymes and lyrics.

"About 19 is when I started taking this a little bit more serious," Jones said.

He recently taught history at Horizon Science Academy Cleveland High School. Next year, Jones will be teaching high school economics and government in his hometown of Lorain.

"Diving deep back home into my hometown is everything I wanted to do," Jones said. "To be that positive role model and male figure in those kids lives. I hope that I can create a better Lorain."

Jones' stage name is Benjamin Bill. His blossoming music career really started taking off after writing a remix for a song done by rapper "The Game" and R&B Chris Brown. "The Game" noticed Jones' work and shouted him out on social media.

Jones' next big break was at RoverFest in Lorain where he performed in front of 20,000 people.

He's a man of many layers. The music he's creating is no different. His songs range from club beats and lyrics to words and notes carrying a message for all ages.

Jones said diversity is power. His former students even appeared in the music video for the song "Symbolizm."

"Recently, I've been focusing on trying to keep it real if that makes sense," Jones said. "Something that's positive... that you're going to get a life lesson from. Sometimes we need to take a step backward and focus on what we all need in our life, and I think that's a little bit of love."

It's a tone he sets inside his classroom.

"That's what I'm all about- being in the classroom (and) affecting people who are just like me," Jones said. "You mentioned being a man of color. A lot of boys growing up don't have positive influences, a male influence in their life, and I feel that I can kind of feel that gap."

Recent music projects are putting "Benjamin Bill" further into the spotlight. The song "On U" is a collaboration with Billboard Hot 100 artist Tory Lanez.

Jones is also working on a mixed tape "Room 105" which draws on many of his experiences as a teacher.

Reporter Damon Maloney asked Jones about the about the possibility of one day having to choose between teaching and music. Jones said he's taking life one step at a time. Should the opportunity to pursue music full time comes, Jones said he's going to follow the advice is gives his students.

"I want my students to be able to say 'Hey look Mr. Jones followed his dream and he was able to make something of it.'"

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