CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq – “It’s different from seeing it on TV,” said rapper Chamillionaire about his first-hand experience with the soldiers and their daily lives at Contingency Operating Site Warrior. “When you see it on TV, you have a certain view of how you think the military life is ... I feel closer and understand a lot more now than what I did before.”
Rap artist Chamillionaire visited service members and civilians based at COS Warrior during a Morale, Welfare and Recreation Tour, performing for service members and civilians, March 27.
During the day, Chamillionaire visited with military police and received a tour of their compound at COS Warrior.
The MPs accompanied the hip-hop artist to their motorpool for a crash course in how to properly wear tactical equipment and how to enter a tactical vehicle. Later, the troops sat down with Chamillionaire to share their experiences of life for a soldier in Iraq.
“That was the most interesting part—learning,” said Chamillionaire. “Everybody has their own twist on history, and this place is rich with history. It made me want to go back and read up more.”
Later that night, a crowd of service members and civilians crowded the stage known as the Wagon Wheel, taking in every moment of Chamillionaire’s performance.
The artist kept the crowd on their feet with their hands in the air as he motivated them to “Body Rock” and “Say Good Morning.”
Cpl. Jeremy Jordan and Cpl. William Daniels said it was “cool” to see the rapper in person and they are grateful for the opportunity to spend time with an icon.
“I was listening to Chamillionaire before the world knew who he was,” said Jordan, a military policeman from Houston, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division. “I felt honored to meet someone from my hometown, knew and listened to growing up.”
Jordan received the opportunity to escort Chamillionaire around COS Warrior and said, for him, the highlight of the rapper’s visit, came when he played a pick-up game of basketball with the rapper.
Daniels, a motor specialist, also from Houston, serving with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment attached to the 1st AATF, 1st Inf. Div., said it was an honor for him to be called up on stage with Chamillionaire.
“When I got on stage with Chamillionaire, there was no fear when I looked down at the crowd,” said Daniels about his freestyle performance with the rapper.
It felt great seeing people he knew from his neck of the woods, said Chamillionaire.
The rapper said he could tell, when they shook his hand and said they appreciated him coming to visit, they meant it.
“I definitely appreciate the job and service our troops do for us a lot more,” Chamillionaire said. “I see troops all the time in the airport. I shake their hands and it’s easy to be like ‘keep your head up, come back safe’ but as you get closer to see everything they go through every day … it’s a different appreciation,” said Chamillionaire.
People have their opinion about soldiers based on what they see on television and what they see in movies, but there’s a lot going on in the lives of the soldiers in Iraq, said Chamillionaire.
Chamillionaire said he has performed for soldiers before, mostly at Fort Hood, Texas, but the experience did not compare to entertaining troops overseas, and hanging out with the soldiers deployed in support of Operation New Dawn.