Freaky Franz - From the Hip

Until a couple of years ago, the musical resume of Freaky Franz, aka Franz Lyons, had more to do with punishing drum sets at a 4/4 time signature than manufacturing on the mic in front of a crowd. But today, the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the collection of fast-hitting beats and massive bass bombs, the backdrop for the swag storybook that is a Freaky Franz track, is not the punishing speed guitar and blistering screamo vocals associated with the hard-core punk scene. 

“I never really thought about rap as a performer until a couple of years ago when I was messing around with Fly Union’s MPC (Drum Machine/Sampler),” says Lyons. “I was playing live drums for them at the time, and when Isaac (from Fly Union) heard what I was doing with it, he told me it was kind of catchy and I should try and work with it.”

That, and the stack of Too Short and Master P records that he listened to growing up in Columbus’ Hilltop, led to Franz creating his first mixtape, The Freaky Tales, earlier this year and making his stage debut as a rapper with DJ Cornelius Jackson. Tracks like “Karl Malone” lull you into head nodding with synth beats and lines inspired by NBA Jam. Even with how easy the rap game has come to him, Lyons doesn’t really try to hide the fact that he’s not really the lyrical equivalent to Jay-Z, despite repping his Ralph Lauren and Air Jordans. 

“I wouldn’t really call myself a rapper’s rapper,” says Lyons. “My main goal when trying to put together a track is to make something that will get people moving in the club. I wouldn’t even go so far as to say that I rap, as I kind of just scream out the lyrics.”

His lyrical style is closely tied to his musical roots, as he’s currently playing in multiple hard-core bands spanning the country. Despite his time being filled with rapping, touring and being a sponsored skateboarder, he’s still working on the next mixtape entitled The Tour De Franz and is really just in shock that people are taking notice of his rap career. 

To download The Freaky Tales free of charge, go to