High school grad releases rap album chronicling childhood struggles

- A high school senior at Tampa Preparatory School is chronicling his journey to graduation in a professionally-recorded rap album debuting this summer.

Anthony Strandberg's album reveals his struggles with severe ADHD and the outlet that helped him succeed in school.

"It's about being able to unite as a senior class," Anthony told FOX 13 News minutes after wrapping up his last AP exam on the last day of school. "If there's one thing that we can do it's to go down in history...to kind of leave a legacy."

And on his last day in the halls of Tampa Prep, he released his first single appropriately titled "History."

His legacy is a story of a kid who overcame adversity; he was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5 years old.

"These children are very impulsive and they don't necessarily think through their actions," said Anthony's mother, Charise Strandberg.

Those impulses got Anthony in trouble several times as he grew up. A few years ago, however, Charise made a surprising discovery.

"We found lyrics written on napkins or papers and then we started saying, 'hey, he's got some sort of talent here,'" she remembers. "He had a decision whether he was going to crumble or if he was going to just be resilient and face some of his obstacles and this really helped him."

Writing lyrics and rapping became his outlet and his passion.

"It would allow me to release the steam off of me, that I could go back to normal and then regroup and then focus up again," Anthony said "So it was an outlet for my frustration but it also became really fun in a sense... It was just like, 'okay I'm kind of good at this.'"

Tampa Prep's Head of School, Kevin Plummer says he noticed a difference in Anthony.

"It was not uncommon for me to walk down the hall and, Anthony's in there all by himself with headphones on and a music stand and he's just doing what's necessary to be really good at, or become good, as a rapper, as a lyricist, as a spoken-word person," Plummer said, calling Anthony one of the school's greatest success stories.

Not only did Anthony become a straight-A student, he also won his school's version of an annual speech contest. He performed his speech in the style of a free-flowing rap.

"I spent 30 minutes and I wrote 900 words, all in verse," he explained.

As Anthony prepares to attend the University of Florida, he continues to write music, saying he's written all or part of more than 700 songs.

His upcoming album, titled "Graduation: The End of Seven" will drop this summer under the name Anttic, which is his name as a rap artist.

He hopes to practice what his first song preaches and, "leave your mark for the people coming after us."

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