Eighteen-year-old Austin Puckett — Puck — is an up-and-coming hip-hop (rap) artist from Waynesville, Ohio, who uses his experiences with congenital muscular dystrophy as inspiration for his musical career.
Puckett has released two albums, “Million Dollar Dreams” and “Still Wishing,” on which he both wrote and performed the lyrics. ReFraze Studios in Dayton handled recording of both. The albums convey upbeat messages about the challenges in Puckett’s life — with none of the violence or vulgarities often associated with rap.
Overcoming stereotypes is nothing new for this young man. “When I was younger, and the other guys were playing football, I couldn’t do that so I was determined to find something I was good at, too,” he says. He began composing songs at age 12: “They’re largely the story of my life, with the message that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
And Puck has put his mind to far more than hip-hop. Since grade school, he’s volunteered in sports management roles at the schools he’s attended. Most recently, as a senior at Springboro High School near Waynesville, he helped manage the boys’ football and girls’ basketball teams by handling tasks like running the clock during practice and keeping minutes-played charts during games.
He’s also organized a fundraiser for charity he called Prom Fest, in which seniors put on a fashion show with clothing and make-up donated by local merchants. Puck performed some of his music at the event, which then was made available on DVD, eventually raising more than $1,300.
“Austin is an inspiration not just to other people with disabilities, but to his fellow students,” says his mother, Robin Flynn. “He has spirit, and he’s a fighter.”
Now graduated from high school, Puckett is registered to attend Sinclair Community College in Dayton in the fall. He’s not sure what he wants to major in, but he knows it will have something to do with music. Of course, some day he’d like to have his works picked up by one of the major record labels. If hard work and determination can make that happen, he’s got a good shot.
Hear Austin Puckett’s music at www.pucksmusic.com.