4th grader brings anti-bully message with rap video

Published 6:26 pm Friday, August 19, 2016

Daniel Thomas has a message for others — don’t be a bully.

Thomas, also known as Lil D, created a rap video called I’m Cool featuring his cousin, Jamaal Charles, that’s getting the attention of social media and the internet.

“I’m cool. I’m cool. And I say no to drugs, just stay in school.

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And I ain’t worried about nothing, especially no bullies.

Just remember stay in school,” are some of the lyrics to the fourth graders song.

Port Arthur native and Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles took to Twitter about the video.

“Check out the new video I’m featured in with my cousin Lil D. Great message. Stop the bullying! #PAPROUD #LILDIMCOOL.”

Daniel Thomas’ parents, Tyneka Thomas and Daniel Thomas III, said Daniel began showing an interest in music when he was four.

“We wrote the song together for kids that get bullied. There are bullies at all ages,” Daniel Thomas III said. “He came up with the idea, we started playing with it and wanted to give the message to those who are bullied that they are not the only one.”

The video, I’m Cool, came out May 26 and was shot at Tyrrell Elementary School.

“We went through Dr. (Mark) Porterie and Dr. Chambers to get permission for the students to be included in the video and some cousins. All of the students are from the district,” Tyneka Thomas said.

PAISD Superintendent Mark Porterie said he is proud of Daniel Thomas and his parents.

“Daniel is an amazing young man that is positive and has his head on straight. Daniel’s parents are very supportive and have high expectations for their children,” Porterie said. “We are looking forward to following Daniel and experiencing the great things he is going to do in life.”

The video took between 30 to 45 minutes to shoot.

“This is exciting,” she said. “We know his potential, now everybody sees it. We are proud of him and his music that is positive and age appropriate.”

The video has been viewed more than 30,000 times on Facebook, 18,000 times on Instagram and around 10,000 on YouTube.

Daniel, “Lil D,” has another song circulating YouTube, I Got Swag, that he did when he was just 7-years-old.

Thomas has an upcoming performance set for 3 p.m. Nov. 12 at Memorial High School. He will be part of the halftime show in a basketball game between Port Arthur Police Department and Port Arthur Independent School District, she said.

Daniel “Lil D” Thomas’s CD cover. Courtesy photo

Daniel “Lil D” Thomas’s CD cover.
Courtesy photo

The 4th grader does more than rap. After expressing an interest in being an actor he took part in auditions for California based The Network Industry that holds auditions and scouts for new talent.

He took part in a local audition with acting, modeling and music, advanced to regionals then nationals. Port Arthur native Steven Scott found him there and is his acting coach. Scott is part of the Hollywood scene and was in the 2011 movie Real Steel that starred Hugh Jackman.

The young musician plays basketball and baseball year round, is on the honor roll at school and has been awarded for perfect attendance, mom said.

More music is in his future; finishing up a current work in progress with his dad, maybe a Christmas song and a Christian song as well.

His favorite musicians are Chance the Rapper, Sam Smith, Janelle Monae and Beyonce.