The Untold Truth Of TikTokers Island Boys

TikTok stars Island Boys became a cultural phenomenon when a short video of their song, "I'm an Island Boy," went viral in October 2021. The clip featured the twin brothers rapping in a pool, and people were immediately struck not only by the song's catchiness but also by the brothers' distinct looks — the face tattoos, the grills, and hairstyles that really cannot be described (but, please, look at the photos below and judge for yourself). The virality of the song led people to use the hashtag #islandboys to do their own versions, which allowed the brothers to further blow up online. Because of the song's success, the brothers made a longer music video for the jam and adopted "Island Boys" as their brand.

While they are together known as the Island Boys, twins Franky and Alex Venegas also perform under the individual rap names of Kodiyakredd (Franky) and Flyysoulja (Alex). There are no official Island Boys albums, as all of their joint work appears on albums credited to only one brother — "17" to Kodiyakedd and "Trendsetters" to Flyysoulja. Both twins also have other singles not on those albums, but neither the group nor either brother's individual projects have had a legitimate hit aside from their one notable tune (and even that one was really only a social media sensation and not a chart success). 

Though they have millions of social media followers, Island Boys have been involved in many controversies and have far more haters than they have fans. Here is the untold truth of TikTok's Island Boys.

They were raised in Florida by a single mom

Franky and Alex Venegas have lived a lot of life, but the Island Boys are much younger than many people realize. They were born in July 2001, which means that they were not even of legal drinking age when they shot to notoriety. The brothers were raised by their mother in West Palm Beach, Florida, but little is known about her aside from the fact that she is from Cuba and worked a lot, which allowed the boys to get into plenty of trouble. The Island Boys' father was also Cuban, and despite being born stateside, the brothers have remained very connected to their heritage and culture.

The Venegas brothers lost their father, whose name is unknown, when they were only 6 years old. He reportedly died of a heart attack, after which their mom took on the challenge of raising twin sons on her own. The Island Boys have said that their dad's absence is one of the reasons why they went down the wrong path. "We didn't follow no rules. We wasn't listening to nobody. We didn't have a father figure growing up, so we was out here wildin' and stuff," Franky said on the No Jumper podcast. Alex and Franky continued, "The police back in our city, they knew that our mom couldn't control us ... she did everything she could but we was out of control." 

Since becoming famous, the brothers have taken care of their mother. In a 2023 TikTok video, Alex said he bought his mom an apartment and a car, and shared he was even giving her $10,000 to start her own business.

They started getting into trouble with the law as youths

Both of the Island Boys have had trouble with the law, starting when they were only 13. They have mostly been booked for committing burglaries, stealing cars, and robbery, although there have been some drug charges in there as well. This chaos went on for the entirety of their teenage years until their mother finally got fed up and kicked them out at 18. "We put her through hell," Franky said in an interview with No Jumper. "We still had cops knocking on the door every morning." In the documentary "Trolled," the twins' mother admitted that she felt she had lost control over her sons, and she did not want to live on edge anymore.

Franky was only in high school for two weeks before getting kicked out, and he spent most of his teen years in juvenile detention or on probation. His brother Alex was also in and out of juvie — although not the same one as Franky — and had a Percocet addiction that at one point led to him being hospitalized and pronounced legally dead. 

It was while locked up that Alex decided on rap as a potential career path, and we imagine Franky started his own exploration around the same time since he has been the more musically active brother. "We hit rock bottom so many times but it's like, we laugh about it now. Because, like ... you learn from it," Franky told No Jumper. The Island Boys have not really learned from their mistakes, but they have started making different ones.

People don't often realize they are not identical twins since they look so much alike

Franky and Alex Venegas look incredibly alike, with everything from their bone structure to their facial features to their builds appearing nearly identical. They also have the same style — lots of designer labels, tons of gaudy jewelry, and matching diamond grills on their teeth worth a reported $30,000 each. They have even been known to wear matching outfits, but what really makes them look the most alike is their hair and their tattoos. 

Both Island Boys have tattoos up and down their bodies and all over their faces, which would certainly be the first thing people would notice if they didn't also rock such bananas hairdos. When the twins first came to fame, they had bleach-blond dreadlocks that they styled to poke up from their heads like fingers. They have at times changed it up by inserting red, green, blue, or pink streaks into their hair, but their signature locks were one of the things that made them a viral sensation.

The Island Brothers shocked the TikTok world when they buzzed their heads in April 2022, leaving only a thin smattering of hair but retaining that truly terrible straight-across hairline. But that shock was mild compared to the one fans got when they first realized the brothers were not actually identical twins. "A lot of people think we look alike, but we're fraternal," Alex said in a now-deleted TikTok Q&A (via Blavity). In the video, the Island Boys also revealed that Franky was the older twin, born two minutes before his brother.

Alex came up with the Island Boys idea, but they have fought over who reigns supreme

Sibling rivalry is real, and it can turn into an especially severe problem when siblings work in the same field with endless chances for direct comparison. Though Franky and Alex Venegas might say this is not a factor in their relationship, their actions have shown that there is at least some degree of tension in the boys' relationship. 

In their 2021 interview with No Jumper, both Island Boys claimed not to be competitive with one another, citing the fact that they both get attention as the reason why rivalry was not an issue. This seems to have been a lie, however, because they have publicly fought over who reigns supreme on at least one occasion — in a very awkward livestream.

The big beef stems from who is responsible for the Island Boys' rise to fame, which of course happened due to their viral song. The original video clip was posted to Franky's TikTok, where it has received tens of millions of views (Alex posted the official video on his YouTube two months after that). It makes sense that it was posted by Kodiyakredd, since he has been trying to make it as a rapper since 2020, having released songs like "Smoke" and "9ine" under the name Redd4x before his rise to fame. But since Alex came up with the idea, he claimed he was responsible for their viral vid in the September 2022 TikTok Live fight. "You wanna be just like me!" Franky said, while also noting he wrote the bars (via Dextero). "You do everything I do. Follow the leader!"

They have a lot of haters, including some celebrities and their own fans

The Island Boys may have millions of followers on Instagram — and even more on TikTok — but followers should not be confused with fans. The brothers are widely regarded as a novelty act, and while they of course have their legitimate devotees, a good deal of their audience is laughing at them. There is no greater proof than the first time they performed their notable song "I'm an Island Boy" in public, only one month after they went viral. 

The twins were invited to perform at Club Liv in Miami, but at the performance not only was there no applause — the crowd actually booed the rappers toward the end of the performance. One video of them getting booed off stage has 21 million Facebook views, and that is but one of many clips of the humiliating evening posted online.

While their Club Liv performance was not the only time the Island Boys have been booed, the words people have used to describe them are even worse. It is impossible to get into the many hilarious social media comments or blog posts about the rappers, but let's just say they are easier to roast than a Thanksgiving turkey. Even celebrities have poked fun at them — and none more entertainingly than Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg, who were asked to react to their video when filming a 2021 year-end special for Peacock. "I'm speechless. Two goofballs in a pool," Snoop said, before Hart cracked them up by launching into a mocking version of the song.

Their former manager says they are broke and owe him money

We live in a world where even TikTok stars who have one viral hit can make a pretty penny, given all of the avenues there are to make money through online fame. In addition to the money the Island Boys made off of their music streams and sales, they most likely raked it in through club appearances, performances, and merchandise. They also make money from their YouTube vlogs, and have been known to create videos to hawk services and products, like Dr. Beau Hightower's chiropractic adjustments

In addition, the brothers are on Cameo — where they make videos and also sell merch — as well as an adult-oriented website called Fansly.

It isn't clear exactly how much the Island Boys have brought in through these means, but some "experts" (we use this term loosely) estimate it could be as much as $2 million. And while $2 million is more than enough to set someone up for life, it won't do so if they blow all of it on material items, like the Venegas brothers seem to have done. Take the Instagram video where Franky details the cost of his outfit, for example — an $18,000 bracelet, a $30,000 pendant, a $60,000 chain, about $7,000 in rings, and a $1,500 jacket and shorts combo. According to a June 2022 interview with former manager Dovi Bezner, the Island Boys have unsurprisingly already spent the bulk of their earnings (which explains their foray into online sex work). Bezner also claimed he was owed $150,000 for his cut of their Cameo income.

They were accused of incest after a controversial video showed them kissing

This next section comes with a major "ick" warning, and a healthy dose of befuddlement. The Island Boys, perhaps due to financial struggles after too much spending or perhaps due to their need to remain relevant, have started to create pornographic content together. While they do not have full-on sexual relations — online, at least — the brothers have posed nude and aroused together on OnlyFans (they now use Fansly instead). They also have plenty of solo content, and Franky has posted a lot of content featuring him with women. 

Most controversially, the brothers have now made numerous videos where they kiss (and they are shirtless in at least one of them).

The kissing videos did not start on Fansly or even OnlyFans. The first one was a social media teaser video in which the brothers pretended like they were going to lock lips but did not. They then posted a four-way kiss where their tongues were touching and, eventually, a video of them full-on kissing on X, formerly known as Twitter. Alex maintained that he and his brother were not attracted to one another, though fans don't necessarily believe him. Alex recently came out of the closet as gay after previously citing his heterosexual identity as a reason why the behavior between him and Franky wasn't inappropriate. "No one has an issue with you being gay. Stop the incest tho," wrote one follower on their Instagram Live (via HotNewHipHop). The brothers soon transitioned from kissing on Twitter to kissing on OnlyFans, and they have even claimed their mother has no problem with the content.

They have big beef with both Logan and Jake Paul

Snoop Dogg and Kevin Hart might have made fun of the Island Boys, but we are relatively sure Snoop is not stressing about Alex Venegas threatening to beat him up (seriously, it happened). But just because Snoop is not in an active beef with the brothers does not mean everyone is so willing to let the Island Boys' attitude roll off their backs. 

Brothers Logan and Jake Paul are two of the many social media stars who have issues with the Venegas brothers, although when it comes to popularity, earnings, and general notoriety, there really is no competition — the Pauls win hands down. Logan Paul has a whopping 27 million Instagram followers and 18 million TikTok followers, while Jake has 25 million and 17 million on Instagram and TikTok, respectively. The Island Boys combined can't even grapple together ¼ of a Paul's followers.

The Paul brothers don't hate the Venegas brothers because they lack status, though. It is because of a series of events that began when the Island Boys walked out of an interview for Logan's podcast, "IMPAULSIVE." The rappers got offended when Logan suggested that they should save their money in case music did not continue to bring in the dough (and time has certainly proved him right to suggest as such). Shortly thereafter, the Island Boys went to see Jake in a boxing match, where they created a huge ruckus and ended up being escorted out. They denied it, but there is video proof of their departure and a booing crowd (a sound the Island Boys must be used to by now).

The Paul brothers are not the only influencers they have fought with

In a 2021 interview, the Island Boys claimed to have chilled out when it came to confronting their haters. Whereas they used to get into screaming matches on live streams rather frequently, they said they were making efforts to calm things down a bit. "When I go on live, I like to outsmart people. I like to strategize. I'm not going to talk to you crazy" Alex told No Jumper. "I like to get under people's skin, but I'm not going to threaten you," he added. Since he and his brother have threatened many in the years since, including Snoop Dogg, this is clearly another instance of an Island Boys member stretching the truth.

The lie is a bit comical since a good deal of the Venegas brothers' beefs have been incredibly public and have included aggressive threats. For instance, Alex threatened to beat up No Jumper's Adam Grandmaison (a.k.a. Adam22) after he said something Alex did not like on his podcast. Grandmaison completely owned the Island Boy with his response, but the feud is still brewing. Another social media personality the rappers have fought with is Adin Ross, whom Alex flashed and threatened with sexual assault on a livestream in August 2023. 

Both Island Boys also have a longstanding feud with Bryce Hall (a.k.a. BryceVine) with whom they have been warring since 2021, and there's video evidence of the boys trying to fight with Jack Doherty — another influencer far more popular than them, which appears to be the trend.

They made an army recruitment video that the army never requested nor approved

When one thinks of the United States Army and who typically enlists, the mind does not immediately go to rappers covered with face tattoos and armed with a criminal record the size of a phonebook. So, it was bewildering that the Island Boys would be chosen to appear in an army recruitment video, which we assumed they had when they put one out on Cameo in January 2022. 

In the video, the brothers shouted out one particular soldier, who reposted the video, and they noted army perks like bonuses, paid vacation, and free tuition as reasons why someone may want to join. Ironically, the staff sergeant who was the subject of the shout-out put the video up on TikTok, which the army actually bans on government phones and for official recruitment purposes due to safety concerns.

The audience was not the only group confused by the video — so was the army, which neither commissioned nor approved it. Though it is unclear if Staff Sergeant Orlando Tomez paid for the video himself (either with his own funds or army funds) or if it was gifted to him, the higher-ups were none too pleased with the connection to the controversial Island Boys. "The Island Boys Cameo was not reviewed, authorized, nor paid for by U.S. Army Recruiting Command as an official marketing tool," Kelli Bland, a representative, told NBC News. "We are investigating the situation and requiring the individual recruiter to remove the TikTok account, as it is not authorized for official use at this time."

They started getting tattoos at 12 and their forehead tattoos have special meaning

One thing that made the Island Boys immediately memorable was their myriad of tattoos, which were prominently featured in the clip for "I'm an Island Boy" since the brothers were shirtless in a pool while filming. The ink on their limbs and torsos is more typical than the ink on their faces, which both brothers have used to frame their features. While face tattoos are not uncommon for rappers, the sheer amount of them on each Venegas brother has ensured it is part of their calling card. 

These tats have also become a way for people to tell the twins apart — particularly their forehead designs. Franky has a very prominent eagle on his forehead in between his eyebrows, while Alex has the number 17 inked in the same spot.

Franky Venegas has said that he got his first tattoo at age 12, and his hand tattoos at 14. When he came out of juvie at 17, he decided he was going to be a rapper and so he "tatted up [his] whole body," according to an appearance he made on "IMPAULSIVE." "I lost friends because of this. I lost family because of this," he said. Ultimately, the brothers agreed that their face tattoos represented their commitment to individuality, saying it shows they don't "give a f**k." It is unknown when Alex started his tattoo journey, but he has definitely added quite a few since first shooting to fame. In a TikTok video, he said that most of his cheek tattoos did not hurt, but that the forehead, jaw, and eyelid ink was painful.

In 2022, their home was raided and their friend was arrested for murder

You can tell a lot about a person by the people that they surround themselves with, and when it comes to the Island Boys, that is not a positive thing. Given that both Franky and Alex Venegas spent their younger years in and out of juvenile detention centers, it goes to reason that they would have some shady associates with continued involvement in criminal activity. 

Though the twins were known to commit non-violent offences such as grand theft auto and robbery, there is no public knowledge of them being charged with any crime involving a weapon. Their friends, on the other hand, have faced the most serious of charges — including murder.

The Island Boys became wrapped up in a big scandal when one of their childhood friends was arrested while visiting their home. In February 2022, police raided their South Florida rental house in search of Andrew James Thomas. Thomas was armed when the SWAT team entered, but Alex told police he convinced his friend to stash the gun in the laundry room. The Island Boys grew up with Thomas but claim to have known nothing about his criminal activities. Then again, it would not be a surprise if they were lying, considering their questionable relationship with the truth. 

Thomas was charged with multiple offenses, including first-degree murder for the drive-by shooting of an 8-year-old child.

Franky Venegas was accused of abuse well before his arrest for domestic battery

They may not steal cars or rob people anymore (that we know of), but the Island Boys are definitely not on the straight and narrow. Alex Venegas has had no recent run-ins with the law, although he certainly loves to threaten people, so a future assault charge does not seem far-fetched. His brother Franky has had more recent charges leveled against him, thanks to his horrific habit of beating women. 

He was arrested in May 2023 after getting into a physical altercation with his girlfriend, slapping her, and throwing her into a pool because she threatened to end things due to his abusive behavior. Because he reportedly pushed her into the shallow end of the pool, the woman cut her chin on the concrete. She also had bruises on her legs and arms, per the court documents.

Inappropriately, Franky then posted a video from outside the jail where he basically made light of the arrest. He also commented on the charges on social media, claiming the situation was "not what it seems" and even changed his profile photo to his mug shot. The 2023 incident was not the first time the public learned of Franky's problematic behavior toward women. In January of the previous year, former girlfriend Montaisha Shanell (who was not the woman from the pool incident) made a series of Instagram posts where she accused the rapper of beating her. Previous to that, the violence in the relationship had been featured in multiple Instagram Lives, including one where Shanell had a split lip.