By Patrick Hruby
The Washington Times
September 13, 2011
Besides, this totally beats Iraq.
An up-and-coming rapper in D.C.’s underground scene, Mr. Meitzer also is a lance corporal in the Marine Corps, a combat videographer stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.
“Spit it how you’re going to spit it,” says Jason the producer, also known as Maestro Metaphorics. “So I can get the sound level.”
Yellow noise-dampening foam covers the walls. Posters of Biggie Smalls and the movie “Scarface” paper the ceiling. This is Jason's studio, where Mr. Meitzer is recordinga song he just wrote, about coping with a friend’s suicide.
I remind myself that you’re gone
By breaking hearts, don’t mistake it for charm
I hurt others, to save myself from
Reminiscing, for too long …
One take becomes two. Two become three. Five minutes becomes a half-hour. Peering through his glasses, Mr. Meitzer holds a laptop computer in his left hand, reading lyrics off the screen.
Grinning, he flexes his left arm.
“All that time in boot camp, holding the rifle out like this, getting yelled at?” Mr. Meitzer says. “It’s finally paying off.”
In some obvious ways, the two worlds are incongruous — hip-hop fantasies of Bentleys and champagne rooms colliding with military realities of Quonset huts and meals ready to eat; individual swagger and hedonism butting heads with patriotism and exacting small-unit values like self-sacrifice and mutual loyalty.
And yet, for the 25-year-old Mr. Meitzer, rap and soldiering are — unlikely as it might seem — mutually inclusive.
Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising.
“They have the same demographic,” notes University of Colorado English professor Adam Bradley, co-editor of “The Anthology of Rap.”“Get a group of young men — and to a lesser extent, young women — from across the country, all walks of life, different socio-economic standings, races and ethnicities. Bring them together. One of the things that will emerge is a common love of hip-hop.”
During his 4½ years of military service, Mr. Meitzer has released three albums. Dropped rhymes in New York City, the Philippines and the Persian Gulf. Represented D.C. in a national competitive rap league. As an artist, he lists Jay-Z and Bob Dylan as major influences. His oeuvre combines hip-hop, jazz and folk music.
When performing, Mr. Meitzer likes to wear bow ties.
“I can’t give him a typical beat,” Jason says. “He isn’t the typical hip-hop artist.”
Read the full article at the Washington Times