13-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper promotes anti-bullying message

More from this show

We’ll meet a 13-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper with an anti-bullying message.

José Cárdenas: THERE AREN'T A LOT OF 13 YEAR OLDS WHO ALREADY HAVE THEIR EYE ON A CAREER, BUT WE MET A 13 YEAR OLD WHO IS TRYING TO MAKE HIS MARK ON THE WORLD. PRODUCER BLAKELY MCHUGH AND PHOTOGRAPHER ROB MCJANNET INTRODUCE US TO A KID RAPPER WHO HAS A MESSAGE TO SHARE.

SOT: LET'S GO!

Reporter: 13-YEAR-OLD FRANKIE ISN'T A TYPICAL YOUNG BOY. INSTEAD OF SPENDING TIME IN THE CLASSROOM HE SPENDS TIME IN THE STUDIO RECORDING MUSIC. FRANKIE CAUGHT THE GROOVE EARLY AFTER SEEING HIS DAD MANAGE GROUPS.

Frankie Viera: MY DAD BROUGHT ME TO THE STUDIO AND THAT IS WHEN I RECORDED MY FIRST SONG.

Reporter: HE RECORDED HIS FIRST SONG, LOOK AT ME, WHEN HE WAS JUST NINE YEARS OLD. SINCE THEN, HE HAS RECORDED OVER 14 SONGS.

Frankie Viera: I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. I TREAT IT AS A HOBBY. IT IS A SPORT TO ME.

Reporter: BUT FRANKIE'S SONGS ARE NOT ALL ABOUT BEING A TEEN. HE IS ALSO TRYING TO SEND A MESSAGE. IN FOURTH GRADE, HIS FRIEND WAS A VICTIM OF BULLYING. THE SONG "SAY SOMETHING" TELLS THE STORY OF KIDS WHO ARE VICTIMIZED.

Frankie Viera: SEEING KIDS BULLIED ON THE NEWS, AT SCHOOL, INSPIRED ME AND I WROTE IT.

REPORTER: THE MESSAGE IS SIMPLE. KIDS SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID TO BE THEMSELVES.

Frankie Viera: I HOPE EVERYONE HEARD MY MESSAGE. BE YOU. DON'T WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE BULLYING IS A LOT OF NEGATIVITY FOR THE KID.

Reporter: THE SONG STRUCK A CORD AND WAS NOMINATED FOR A GRAMMY IN 2016 GOING UP AGAINST HEAVY WEIGHT ARTISTS LIKE DRAKE AND NICKY MINAJ.

Frank Viera: IT IS AWESOME FOR HIM TO HAVE A VOICE AT A YOUNG AGE AND IMPROVISE WITH OTHER KIDS. I THINK IT IS A BEAUTIFUL STORY.

Reporter: FRANKIE IS DETERMINEDED TO TELL MORE. DROPPING OUT OF MIDDLE SCHOOL AND STARTING ONLINE SCHOOL.

Frank Viera: BEFORE WE GOT INVOLVED WITH ARIZONA LITERATURE ACADEMY IT WAS DIFFICULT FROM TEACHERS CALLING AND SAYING HE WAS MISSING SO MANY DAYS, HIS MOM HAVING TO GO GET HOMEWORK, MISSING TWO OR THREE WEEKS AT A TIME OUT OF THE MONTH.

Reporter: NOW FRANKIE GETS TO JUGGLE SCHOOL AND STUDIO AT HIS OWN PACE. HE LIKES THE FLEXIBILITY BUT IT IS NOT WITHOUT SACRIFICE.

Frankie Viera: THE DIFFERENCE IS YOU ARE AT HOME AND NOT WITH OTHER KIDS. YOU DON'T SEE THE TEACHER IN PERSON. YOU DON'T SEE OTHER KIDS IN PERSON. IT IS JUST YOU ON THE LAPTOP FOR ABOUT FIVE OR SIX HOURS.

Reporter: WITH THE STUDIO CALLING AND FUTURE GRAMMY'S ON THE LINE FRANKIE WILL KEEP PLUGGING AWAY BEING A KID AND BEING A RECORDING ARTIST -- ONE WITH A MESSAGE ONLY A TEEN CAN TELL.

José Cárdenas: FRANKIE IS SET TO RELEASE MORE SONGS THIS SUMMER.

Frankie Viera: Kid Rapper

Frankie Viera Jr.: Frankie's Manager

A graphic for the Arizona PBS news show,
airs April 27

New and local

Illustration of columns of a capitol building with text reading: Arizona PBS AZ Votes 2024

Arizona PBS presents candidate debates

Earth Day Challenge graphic with the Arizona PBS logo and an illustration of the earth

Help us meet the Earth Day Challenge!

Graphic for the AZPBS kids LEARN! Writing Contest with a child sitting in a chair writing on a table and text reading: The Ultimate Field Trip
May 12

Submit your entry for the 2024 Writing Contest

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: