A sophomore at Etowah High School, Peyton Sanders, son of Tammy and Chad Sanders, began mixing beats and writing his own lyrics a little more than a year ago.
"There were kids at school that said they were rappers," the 16-year-old said. "But I actually started picking it up and posting videos on Facebook and grew a fan base."
Peyton, who raps under the name P.Sanders, soon got industry attention and before he knew it, he secured a manager earlier this year.
His manager, Chris Diaz, showed one of his homemade videos to the producers of a new reality TV show to air this summer on a major cable network.
"The producers said 'We'd like to have you on there,'" Peyton said.
Last weekend, Peyton spent two days in Atlanta filming with other up-and-coming artists from all over the country to compete for a spot on a major record label.
"It was a really great experience," he said. "We had to do different things like sell mix tapes on the street and learn how rap got started."
Despite being the youngest of all the contestants, Peyton said he felt embraced by his fellow rappers.
"The situations were intimidating," he said. "They'd turn the camera to me and say 'Rap right now.'"
Peyton said he hopes the show will help boost his dream of being a full-time recording artist.
"I'd love to make a CD or album, but it's all about little steps," he said.
On Friday, Peyton will record in studio for the first time on his own at Stankonia Studios in Atlanta. In the next few weeks, he'll also shoot his first official music video.
"I write about anything - girls, my dreams and making it big," he said. "I would love the world to know who I am."
For 13-year-old overnight Internet sensation Sam Freckmann, his dream is the same.
"I want to be like Justin Bieber," he said. "I don't want to make the same music - just have his life."
An E.T. Booth Middle School seventh-grader, Sam, also known as J Byrd, began writing and performing his own raps at age 9.
"My older brother, Tommy, when I was about 7, showed me Tech N9ne and that got me really excited," he said of his now favorite rap artist.
Sam, son of Mari Freckmann and Larry Freckmann, recorded songs in a family friend's basement studio, but Super Bowl XLV would become his breakout moment.
Parodying the chart-topping hip-hop hit "Black and Yellow" by Wiz Khalifa, Sam's YouTube video "Green and Yellow," an homage to the Green Bay Packers, got nearly 1 million views.
"After the Packers won, I started rapping faster and rhyming faster. Before I sounded like I was sucking in helium," he said with a laugh.
He's currently wrapping up a mix tape, which is being recorded at Tree Sound Studios in Duluth, where artist/producer DJ Hurricane, best known for his work with the Beastie Boys, picked him up.
"He saw my video and saw potential," Sam said. "He mentored me and taught me how to flow on beat."
"Green and Yellow" also helped him receive national media attention with audiences captivated by the young rap mogul's talent.
Sam's most recent single is "Brand New." His other songs, including "Rhyme Master," have also racked up hits on YouTube.
Sam said he spends about seven to 10 hours per week writing new material and improving his game.
"A while ago in January I wanted to quit so bad. Writing just got so annoying," he said.
But then he met his favorite rapper Tech9 at the studio.
"That got me so excited, and it makes me want to do this even more," he said.
Inevitable with new artists in close proximity, Peyton and Sam met up to cut a track together after meeting on Facebook.
Both of their mothers said they had never been fans of rap, but supported their sons' musical endeavors.
"I say as long as he keeps it clean, he can continue," Ms. Freckmann said. "Kids love rap, and I think there is a need for young artists to do it clean."
Peyton's mother said rap isn't her preferred style, but she can appreciate a good song.
"Since he was small, I knew he'd be a performer," Mrs. Sanders said. "I didn't think it would come from the rap channel, but I will support him 100 percent."