FrankieTheKid’s fabulous flow

Frankie+raps+along+with+one+of+his+songs.+Photo+by+Alice+Adams.

Frankie raps along with one of his songs. Photo by Alice Adams.

Huy Huynh, Multimedia Editor

This previously ran in our October 2022 print issue.

Francisco Lebron leans back in his black gamer chair, then he leans forward. With a twirl of his wrist, he talks passionately about his art.

Making beats and rapping lyrics in his LED-draped bedroom, the Emmaus senior slowly nods his head as he motions toward one of his greatest influences: Jarad Higgins, most notably known as Juice WRLD. Images of the prominent hip-hop artist – who died in December 2019 – prominently display on Lebron’s computer screen, one of several monitors used to upload his beloved music to the world.

Juice WRLD was not only a role model, but someone to whom Lebron could relate.

“He really touched [my] heart,” Lebron said, pumping his one first into his other hand. “It was just different when I listened to him [compared to] any other artist. It was like he was there for me [more] than any other person, even though he wasn’t [physically] there.”

Pulling up his folder of music, Lebron picks out a track and hits play. At that instant, everything in his dimly lit bedroom falls silent and begins to listen. The addictive beats start rolling and the rap lyrics begin to flow out as smooth as butter. Like Juice WRLD, Lebron also makes alternative hip-hop music under the name FrankieTheKid, drawing inspiration from the late rapper. Just like his idol, Lebron wants to emulate that same relatable feeling within his own music, giving his listener something to connect with while pushing a positive message for them to carry on.

“Yeah, like my music is based off a lot of Juice WRLD. You’ll be able to hear it, definitely,” Lebron said. “I just want people to know that there’s always gonna be somebody there for them in like, in every aspect of their life, and they, you know, they could always come to me if they ever need something.”

As his demo song comes to a close, he shifts to his far right monitor and begins typing in a website. With a final key stroke, his music portfolio pops up, displaying the success of his music on the many platforms he is on. Like many other hip-hop artists at EHS, Lebron began his music career on SoundCloud, a well-known music streaming service, and has since expanded his presence to many additional platforms. Right now, FrankieTheKid can be found on Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Snapchat, and many other places. 

Making music since 2019, Lebron only began sharing his work last year, releasing 50 different songs in the form of three albums for his listeners to enjoy. “Managed,” Lebron’s hottest song, serves as a taste of what FrankieTheKid is all about and provides his listeners with  a glimpse of what is to come in the future.

Already finding significant success in his music career, Lebron is looking to seize the opportunity and continue his hip-hop journey well after high school. Among the wash of other hip-hop artists at EHS and online, Lebron believes he has the stuff to make it big and realize his dream.

“I feel like I can’t compare myself to anybody here. I’m just a whole different vibe, a whole different everything. Like it’s something you know; if you just hear the music, you’ll be able to tell. It’s just different, just the vibe, [and] every single thing.”

In regards to the future, Lebron has started to really double down on his music, going back to improve some of his older songs while simultaneously working on new ones. He has begun to branch out from alternative hip-hop and dabble in alternative rock and has even expressed an interest in experimenting with country music. As of right now, Lebron has a music video in store for the re-release of a hit album, “Romantic Homicide.” Alongside that, he is working on songs for future release: “Bank Roll”, alongside “Sorry”, which will be a rerecording of his old song that shares the title.

To Lebron, making music is a huge part of his life. He’s been able to find success with his songs and has done well in making a name for himself. However, money and fame aren’t everything, and he wants to play a bigger role in people’s lives. For his listeners, he wants them to know that he creates music so they could connect with him and cope with any problems that might be going on.

“It’s just to touch people’s hearts. That’s all I care about. Like, just to have an impact on one person, or just like people telling me thank you for everything I do. They’d be like, ‘Oh, you really helped me in my life,’ or ‘saved my life’ and like it means a lot to hear that. It’s just something I really love doing.”

To the other aspiring musicians trying to make it, Lebron wants them to know they shouldn’t let anybody else bring them down. Being positive and truthful is what has helped him become the person he is and it’s something he preaches to others.

“Just stay true to yourself. Don’t let [anyone] judge you. If you see somebody, just spread positivity. If you see somebody that you don’t want to talk to, try and talk to them. Just try and get yourself out there, [it] really helps a lot and just know you’re never ever alone in any situation that you go through.”