2017 got off to a hot start for 17-year-old Isaiah Acosta.
Thanks to local artist TrapHouse Acosta was able to record his first ever rap single. The video attracted millions of viewers across social media. The boy, born without a jaw, is mute. But he had finally achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a hip-hop star.
"We get excited about likes! So to have 15 million views I think it was confirmation for Isaiah, like hey man what we all know about you but the whole world can see it,” said family friend Lastassia Eidson.
Isaiah described the feeling as “amazing” and that he was “blown away.”
However, stuffed in the thousands of positive comments and feedback was the dark side of becoming a name.
“There’s been a lot of positive but there's also been a lot of negative. Adults and teenagers bullying him online on Facebook and Instagram,” said Acosta’s mother Tarah.
The ambush of social media bullying has struck a chord with Isaiah and Tarah. During the interview, the two showed ABC15 the comments people still leave to this day on his pages. Just the thought brings tears to Tarah’s eyes.
"It's been hard because you know it sticks with me. It’s probably hurting me more than it hurts him but it does take effect on him. That's why he's doing all this to help other kids,” said Tarah.
So in the face of the thousands of online trolls, Isaiah is standing tall. He now speaks to hundreds of Valley kids at elementary, middle and high schools.
"He's doing this, he's helping other kids that are being bullied. These kids are going back home taking it to their siblings and their parents. It’s helping parents that are not aware,” said Tarah.
In the end, Isaiah won’t let the critics silence him. He plans to keep writing, performing and helping others find their voices.