Chicago's Twista hits Q-West, Iraq
April 21, 2010
CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - Chicago's rap-recording artist Twista rapped in concert for service members on the outdoor stage here April 14 on the second stop of a five-stop tour through Iraq and Kuwait.
Rap-recording artist B-Hype accompanied Twista as the pair performed songs from Twista's seven albums to a crowd of screaming service members.
For Twista and B-Hype, the tour was their second performing for troops in Iraq, their first was in 2008. They said they could tell how much the troops appreciated their performances during the first tour.
"We took it to heart, that's what made us come out here the second time," Twista said. "We just come out to ..."
"... make them feel at home," B-Hype finished.
"Bring a little piece of the crib," Twista added.
Twista said he enjoyed making the Soldiers feel happy and felt that it was his responsibility to do something for the troops. He said that he felt that performing for them helped them a little.
"It gets everybody up for the next day and ready for their job," he explained. "I feel if you're blessed at something that makes you beyond average, you should give back in some way."
B-Hype mentioned that seeing the Soldiers was the best part of the tours, but he also enjoyed other perks such as shooting .50 caliber machine guns as the two had the opportunity to do on their previous tour to Iraq.
Sgt. Tramayne Graham, an Orlando, Fla., native and supply sergeant for 501st Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, said he was a long-time fan of Twista and loved the show.
"Got a little taste like you were at home again," he said. "They show the soldiers that even though their celebrities, they can still come out and show their support."
Spc. Tiffany Martinez, a public affairs specialist with 631st Maintenance Company, 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), agreed. She said it helped to show the troops that America supports them.
"We all know that they have the good life, but they pay attention to us," she said, referring to celebrities like Twista who tour Iraq for the troops.
She also said that she was more likely to go see an artist in person after returning home if she had also seen that artist on tour in Iraq.
According to Twista and B-Hype, many rappers don't want to come to Iraq because they consider it dangerous.
"It feels like we got it on lock down here, so I feel good," Twista said of the security situation.
"We not scared," B-Hype said.
Twista added, "All the other rappers are scared."