Humans of Lee: Up Close and Personal with Pilcher Thornton



In his home studio, Pilcher Thornton (12) spits out a unique freestyle on the spot. Thornton found a way to form a connection with others around the world through his songs. “I have gotten a taste of what I can do,” Thornton said. “The numbers I put out in such a short time – I’m trying to just grow that.”

Having to keep up with school work is a universal student struggle. It always feels like there is not enough time in the day to complete assignments.

Pilcher Thornton (12) manages to successfully complete college assignments, play golf, and even manage a rap career all while being a high school senior. Out of these activities, rapping is his greatest passion.

“Most of my time goes to music,” Thornton said.

All rappers have to start somewhere. In Thornton’s situation, his talents stood out to those around him, which influenced his hobby.

“People just started talking me into freestyling at parties,” Thornton said. “I got a lot of attention doing that, so I kept going.”

Once more people realized his talent, this encouraged Thornton to begin producing his own songs.

“They knew I was freestyling, so they were kinda talking me into it,” Thornton said. “When I finally broke down and did it, they were down with it.”

Every recording artist has his own personal style.  According to Thornton, the main thing all of his songs consist of is freestyling.

“I freestyle 90% of the time,” Thornton said. “My earlier stuff was written, but all the new stuff is freestyle. It’s got heavy trap influences and heavy rock and roll influences; kinda a blend.”

Starting a rap career is not easy. As a student, having a full time job right now is not an option for Thornton. 

“It’s a lot of money,” Thornton said. “I work different side jobs and sell stuff I don’t use anymore.”

Thornton works really hard to expand his audience. Unfortunately, the more people who listen to his music means more people that could potentially hate on his work.

“[I have] a lot [of haters],” Thornton said. “They don’t like the fact that I’m a long-haired white kid trying to do this, but the numbers don’t lie. I’m not stressing it. I’m gonna do my own thing regardless.”

Thornton has a group of friends that help him stay grounded and away from the hate. One of these friends is fellow rapper, Brendon Harper (12). The two have produced songs together.

“[He’s] like my brother,” Harper said. “[He’s the] coolest guy you’ll ever meet. He’s funny and a [great] rapper. We ended up becoming close through music and freestyling, and eventually we grabbed a little audience.”

Thornton also has a close relationship with his parents. They support their son in his dreams and passions.

“They’re supportive,” he said. “They were kind of shocked about it at first, but they’re down with it.”

Thornton is the son of Angela Thornton (faculty), a special needs teacher on campus. He enjoys being able to see her during the day.

“It’s pretty cool,” Thornton said. “I get out of class and go get a snack.”

 She advises the school’s S.M.I.L.E. club (Similarities Make Idols Less Exclusive), where students come to have fun with special needs children.

“It was a club voted on by one of our general ed (education) members who came up with it, and our purpose is to build lasting relationships between students with disabilities and general education students.” A. Thornton said.

 P. Thornton has taken an interest in being involved in this club.

“We work with special needs kids; play games and make crafts,” Thornton said. “I grew up around it because my mom has been a teacher my whole life. Growing up around these kids, you learn to love them.”

Golfing stood out to him at a young age. Over the years, his interest has shifted. 

“When I was 13, I was trying to take golf seriously and be good, but after a year I realized that wasn’t going to happen. Now I just do it for the letterman and for fun. I’m not that good at it, but it’s fun.”

Many people have noticed that Thornton does not wear shoes when he golfs. This is part of what makes his golfing experience unique.

“I also practice with no shirt. I really don’t know why. Golf shoes kinda hurt my feet, so I just go barefoot.”

Time management is an interesting factor in Thornton’s case, mainly because he’s still in high school.

“Golf doesn’t take a whole lot of time because I don’t play during the off season. Truth be told, I really don’t give school much of my free time either. I do the work morning-of or late night.”

Online dual enrollment classes allow students to complete assignments anytime and anywhere. While some students see this as a bonus, others, such as Thornton, struggle to keep up.

“My problem is that I don’t have good self discipline,” Thornton said. “In a high school class I have a teacher to make sure I’m on top of things, but in a dual enrollment class I can have a studio session at 6 and realize I have 3 projects that aren’t done and it messes it up.”

“I’m going to college,” Thornton said. “There’s some things I’m looking forward to and things I’m not looking forward to. I’ve gotten accepted to a few places but I’m trying for University of Georgia. If I can’t get UGA, I’m probably going to Kennesaw or Southern.”

Music is his number one priority for the future.

“I have gotten a taste of what I could do,” Thornton said. “The numbers I put out in such a short time – I’m trying to just grow that.”

When he is not in the studio recording, Thornton often listens to other artists and their songs to get inspiration.

“[Some of my favorite rappers are] Post Malone, YNW Melly, Gunna, 9lokkNine,” Thornton said. “[I like] their work ethic and how successful they are.“Freddy Krueger” by YNW Melly, “Yes Indeed” by Drake and Lil Baby, and early Post Malone [songs are what inspire me].” 

With his career on the rise, Thornton has big things in store. His new project “King of the Lake,” will feature many more artists. Teaming up with new distributors, the project will be released on Apple Music and Spotify around the end of the year.

His current music can be found on SoundCloud under the stage name “StonyTheRockstar.”

Cold Stepper (feat. Lil Baby) by StonyTheRockstar

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