The Army now has official rappers among its ranks with a mission to turn the service cool ... finally.
Staff Sgts. Lamar Riddick and Nicholas Feemster were selected as the first two vocalists with the U.S. Army Field Band to serve as full-time rappers.
The pair debuted its lyrical prowess for the service in August during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo — an annual gathering of international military bands.
The field band’s communications director Rob Piper told Military Times in a statement that “[t]he Army is always looking for ways to better connect with and represent all Americans. Adding these talented artists, who can do so with passion and authenticity, is not only great talent management, but helps the Army better reflect society as a whole.”
Earlier this week, the band announced the dates for its upcoming spring tour.
“Hip-hop music itself is just a storytelling vehicle, and honestly if you just take that aspect of it ... you can apply it to really anything,” Feemster told Forces News at the Edinburgh tattoo. “We’re here to tell stories for veterans, we’re here to tell stories and connect the American people to our armed forces.”
During a difficult recruiting season last year, career opportunities like this have this opened new doors for soldiers with unique talents.
Riddick and Feemster auditioned to serve in this capacity with the band in 2021 before completing basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, according to Coffee or Die Magazine.
“I think it was on time,” Riddick recently told Fox Carolina. “I think that the Army is always trying to diversify its efforts and to be transparent and reflect how society looks. And I think that’s very important.”
Both members of the talented duo had separately pursued careers in music and released their own digital albums, Coffee or Die Magazine noted.
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media