Marine veteran uses music to console other vets, challenge Afghanistan withdrawal

Entertainment

SAN DIEGO – The chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has caused a local Marine Corps veteran to release a rap song that’s gradually climbing the music charts.

Raymond Lott, a veteran also known as The Marine Rapper, started his military journey at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. He’s now a Billboard charting musician who says he’s using his platform to help other veterans.

His newest release called “Holy War Too,” which came out last week, comes amid the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan as American troops exit the country after more than 20 years.

Lott said the music helps him deal with post traumatic stress and memories of the Afghanistan conflict.

“I decided to make a response to everything that was going on in Afghanistan because I’m an Afghanistan combat vet,” Lott said. “I needed to respond. I needed to respond in my way through music because I know personally music can be a source of therapy.”

His music already is taking him places. This year, he was on a chart-topping song with Topher called “The Patriot,” which found ample success among Billboard’s digital song sales chart and currently has more than 2.3 million views on YouTube.

With the release of “Holy War Too,” Lott acknowledges the role music plays in helping him battle PTSD, night terrors and difficulties with sleeping.

It’s through the medium where he feels he possibly can console others as well.

In his latest release, he raps about his concern for his former interpreters left behind in Afghanistan.

“It’s not only the Americans and the Afghans that feel some type way,” he said. “The only reason that I got back was because of Afghan interpreters.”

Now, he says he’s using his song and platform to help evacuees and other veterans in need.

Wednesday is the last day to purchase his single “Holy War Too” to help it climb the Billboard charts. The Marine Rapper says profits from the song will go toward helping the Afghanistan evacuees and veteran suicide prevention.

“With the Afghanistan pullout, a lot of these vets are feeling worthless and when you feel worthless you feel like you have no reason to live,” he said, “and I don’t want that to happen to any of my brothers and sisters so I want to let them know they do have worth and they did make an impact.”

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