Mississippi. What comes to mind when you hear that word? You probably think of country music, trees, and confederate flags.
Many years passed and Bex struggled internally with his path, he knew there had to be more to life that he wouldn’t find in Leakesville so he set off to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being a recording artist.
He arrived at a hostel with minimal recording equipment and absolutely no clue how to go about becoming a top artist. One bed had just become available at said hostel because a man happened to be relocating and Bex would be taking this person’s bed. Through word of mouth from the other residents, Bex found out the man about to depart was a producer and he jumped at the opportunity to get his number. His name was Miles. They exchanged contact info and were set to link up at Miles’ house. Once there, Miles’ introduced Bex to a friend of his, a girl named Melissa. Melissa overhears Bex freestyling on one of Miles’ beats and says she would like Bex to meet a highschool friend of hers, Paimon Jahanbin, also a producer.
For the next seven years Bex honed his engineering skills and worked closely with Paimon and got to witness his producer career take off only a few years after they met. Paimon’s career gained significant momentum when he landed his first major placement on Drake’s More Life album with the song Nothings Into Somethings in 2017. This milestone for Paimon was beneficial for Bex’s career as it created opportunities for Bex in the industry being that he had been a longtime friend to Paimon. Bex got to engineer rap legends such as GZA, Raekwon, as well as some of the cast of Love & HipHop: Hollywood and got to meet Vory at Drake’s house. These newfound opportunities that felt like a turning point in Bex’s life were about to come to an abrupt halt.
One morning, Bex awoke from the couch in the studio with a sensation he would describe as water in his ear. He realized he had absolutely no hearing in his left ear and was very dizzy. During weeks of doctor visits and waiting to see specialists, the window to save Bex’s hearing with steroid injections closed without his knowledge. Only to find out Bex had suffered SSHL, sudden sensorineural hearing loss. He endured an intense episode of vertigo which lasted 92 days. During this time, without the ability to hear, coupled with the dizziness and high pitched ringing in his ear; Bex couldn’t resume his job of engineering and had no way to make money. He decided to fly home to Mississippi on day 92 of this nightmare and contemplated suicide. On day 93, he awoke in his family home to find his balance restored and that the dizziness had finally ceased. This gave Bex the strength to push on with his disability and the drive to get past the ringing that would remain for the rest of his life.
Soon after that, Bex gets a call from a good friend of his named Dylan. Dylan offers Bex a chance to fly to Maine for the opportunity to open up for DaBaby. Bex books a 3 day flight to Maine and they drive down to Lawrence, Massachusetts where they perform at DaBaby’s show. They drive back up to Maine where Dylan introduces Bex to some of Dylan’s childhood friends who happen to be artists and producers. Bex decided to skip his flight back home and stayed in Maine for a duration of 33 days and formed a group with these artists called Southside The Mob. They linked with the top videographer in Portland, convinced him to join their group and Bex convinced all of the members to quit their jobs and move to Los Angeles. The Mob first makes a pitstop at Bex’s family home in Mississippi where they would stay for two weeks planning their move to Los Angeles while creating songs. Having their release strategy all lined up, the group gets started on their drive to Los Angeles only stopping in major cities such as Nashville and Houston to shoot music videos, take photoshoots, and perform at small venues as the videographer documents every moment.
They arrive in Los Angeles, rent a house through AirBnb, and for 7 months they continue creating music. Bex assumed the lead role in the group and handled the business side of things like creating custom merch, uploading songs to a music distribution platform, and essentially managing the rest of the members. Bex introduced The Mob to all his industry connections in Los Angeles and the group got to meet Paimon.
The Mob agreed to help renovate Paimon’s new studio where they were introduced to a female RnB singer named Aira. By inviting Aira over to the Mob’s house, Bex had the chance to connect with her. They strengthened their friendship and soon fell in love. This union between Bex and Aira brought the stifled tension between the Mob to the surface and the Mob split. The new couple decided to move to Mississippi to regroup. Once back in Mississippi, Bex and Aira moved in Bex’s parents’ houseboat on the river near his family home. It is there where they would create the first of many songs of many different genres.
Over the course of 2020, as Corona brought the world to a halt, Bex and Aira focused on saving money, recording other artists in the area, and compiling a huge list of original songs and beats. They wrote, produced, engineered and mixed everything themselves and came up with a strategy for the roll out of Bex’s music.
With a catalog of hit singles ready to be shared with the world, Bex was ready to take on 2021. On January 17, 2021 Bex established his record label; Digital Weapon Records which he plans to use as a platform to push his music and sign other artists. This is just the beginning of what Bex aspires to do in the music industry and he’s sure to make a name for himself in hip hop.
Bex Got The Bounce: Learning to Evolve
Those 92 days were intense agony. Bex opened up to me about how, unable to stand his day-to-day life, he had actual thoughts of ending it all.
He couldn’t work like this. “I had just enough money to fly back home,” says Bex. There he waited out the rest of his 92 day trial-by-fire, unsure when or if the vertigo would end.
Bex’s perspective had permanently shifted by the time his vertigo came to an end. He says he’s found strength in himself that he didn’t know he possessed. He refocused on his spirit and his personal world.
“It cuts the world out.” Bex explained his new experience to me. “And I focus on my own world.”
As he transformed on the inside, Bex could hear his music changing too.
“I don’t know if it was my focus or if hearing in mono is a superpower,” Bex reflected, “but my mixes… everything got way crazier, everything got more crisp, just like tighter mixes.”
He took a pause to consider. “I guess it’s a benefit that I don’t have to worry about which plug my left and right speaker get plugged into!”
Bex finds that after his injury, his other senses have been heightened. Though whole ranges of audio are gone for him, he’s found his other senses focused. I likened it to the Daredevil comic books, where the blind superhero navigates by other senses, but Bex expressed it as simply being more honed in.
For example, in a conversation, Bex won’t just listen and think of what to say back anymore. He’s reading lips to assist his partial hearing, and in so doing, he’s focusing in on the other person with twice as many senses as he would. It’s grounding for him. He stays in the moment like never before.
“I think that this, with my ear,” explained Bex, “is part of a spiritual evolution that I’ve been on my entire life… It made me appreciate life more.”
Keyed into the moment, staying in his other senses, not drowning in thoughts, Bex feels as though his SSHL was a “checkpoint” for his personal progression.
“Life is divine, this moment is perfect until you cloud it up with your thoughts”
Bex is producing successful singles again and gaining some traction. Even in the time of Corona, he’s been able to persevere. Endearingly, Bex gives credit to his partner, Aira.
“My girl. I owe it all to my girl.”
Retreating into a chrysalis with his partner to meditate and reflect has been a beautiful experience for Bex. It’s helped him further define the philosophies that began to brew after his SSHL. He’s focused on his music. He’s learned not to overthink, but to stay grounded in the senses he has left.
For Bex, Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, an incredibly challenging disability to accommodate, was just part of a metamorphosis. He’s focused in his own world, his senses are stronger, and he’s making the music he loves.
Check out his latest single, “No Lie“, which dropped on February 28th, 2021. To learn more about Bex and his music, visit www.bexgotthebounce.com