Kansas City native uses harsh experiences of childhood to inspire
younger generations through music
KANSAS CITY, MO – When most people think of big cities with tough neighborhoods that produce gang violence and high drug use, they probably think of New York, Los Angeles or Houston. Kansas City is likely not even on their radar. But in fact, Kansas City has one of the country’s highest crime rates and has some of the meanest streets in all of the U.S.
Tony Frankz knows this first-hand. Having grown up in East Kansas City – one of the roughest parts of the town – he saw and was part of the drug scene and gang violence of the city. His escape from that lifestyle has taken many years, but he has finally found it through a career in music. And as his career begins to take off in big ways, he’s using his platform to help other people stuck in similar lifestyles find their way out.
His new single, “Thinking Back,” is the perfect example of a successful hip-hop artist using his craft to inspire others. It’s a song that is reminiscent of his time growing up in Kansas City. He admits that it uses some of the typical rap clichés – hustling, gangs, drugs – but the stories are told from the point of view of a grown man looking back on the not-so- fond moments of his youth.
“It’s a laid-back, almost daydream-state type feel,” Frankz said. “My style is heavily influenced by G-Funk and the stuff of that era, and some of the early 90s hip-hop. So there’s a lot of singing in it, and a lot of stories about growing up and the way that I grew up. Right now a lot of people aren’t doing singing, they’re doing auto-tune. I do a bit of that, but not on this single, and I’d say it’s unique in that aspect. You get to hear my real voice all the way through.”
Though Frankz has been involved with music since 2000, it’s only been over the past six years that he has really dedicated himself full-time to the industry. He said he hopes to leave a lasting mark on hip-hop so that he can leave a legacy for his children and inspire others to believe that anything is possible if you put in the hard work. Coming from a lifestyle that often ends in death, and from a multi-generational family that has turned to crime, Frankz said he wants to show young people that there are legitimate ways to succeed in life.
“When people hear my music I hope they see a guy who has gone through trials and tribulations and is now trying to reach out to people in my situation and show them a better path,” he said. “I’ve been through some of the roughest areas. I’ve battled with alcoholism and struggled with things within my own culture and dysfunctional family. When people hear what I have to say, they can see I was able to overcome that and do music with my life. And I hope it inspires other people who are in similar situations – or even worse situations than mine.”
To listen to Tony Frankz’s music or to follow him on social media, please visit: