If you were being forced into a war you did not believe in...do you fight or do you run? North Carolina producer Chris "Khrysis" Tyson [click to read] (of Justus League
fame) was faced with this same conundrum in spring of 2003 when he was
to be shipped off to Iraq after being selected from the National Guard.
Only he didn't so much as "run' as he did stand up for his beliefs,
consequently leading to his honorable discharge. Today, Khrysis takes a step back from the boards to sit down exclusively with HipHopDX to talk about just why he decided to take a stand against blind allegiance to one's country.
"I was fresh outta high school lookin' for shit to do with my life." Khrysis tells DX as to why he joined the National Guard. "I wanted to go to college but I aint have the perfect grades. so I went into
the National Guard thinkin' it would be all honky dory...mind you, this
was in 2000, before all the Towers got hit and before all the terrorism
bullshit. Everything was cool at first, but I didn't agree with how everything
was structured. I was known to be the outspoken person in our group.
I'm one of those people that asks 'why?' I wanna know why we doin' this shit.
They'll tell you they want you to do this, that, or the third, but I
need to ask why...I guess my main thing is that we are in a war that
doesn't make any sense whatsoever. That's pretty much how I feel about
it. I didn't believe in what I was being told by the authorities."
still managed to fall in line and fulfill his duties to the Guard until
one fateful spring in 2003 when he received word that he would be
shipped off to Iraq to fight in the nation's war against terrorism. "I reported for duty blatantly told
them 'I'm not going.' They was tryin' to punk me into going. They tried to call
me 'coward' and 'less of a man', and my response to that was "Look, a man
fights for what he believes in. And obviously what I believe in doesn't
agree with what you believe in...so how am I a coward if this is what I
believe in? I believe that this is some bullshit and i believe that I don't
need to be here.' Am I not a man if I'm fighting for what I believe in just because
you don't agree with what I believe in?"
Khrysis then went on to say, "Basically they threatened to kick me out if I didn't go. I said, 'Fine you don't even
have to kick me out, I'll leave nigga! [laughs]. Me and Sean Boog were almost done with our album, Little Brother was working with me on
The Minstrel Show [click to read]...so there's a lot of shit that wouldn't have happened for
me if I was gone for two years in Iraq. So I have no regrets...except
the fact that I joined to begin with...but I wouldn't have
learned the life lessons I have today if I hadn't joined. I'm just
thankful I'm here to live another day."
Not to be mistaken, Khrysis by no means discourages anyone
from fighting in a war if it is what they believe in. He simply warns
about knowing what you are fighting for before blindly taking orders
from the government. He reassuringly adds, "Shout out to all the people that did go there...some of them didn't make
it back and some of them did. But some of those people that made it
back...I mean, they made it back, but they didn't 'really' make it back.
'Cause you have some people that go out there and done seen some shit or
been involved in some shit that aint right. I have no disrespect for
the people that go out there and do what they feel they need to do. But
some people go out there willingly then get out there only to realize 'Oh shit, I'm caught up in some fuckery.'"
So is Khrysis 'anti-military'? Of course not. "There are good people in the military," he admits,
"but they get their orders from
somewhere else. These orders come from somewhere up top. The world
needs to know about the predicament we're in now. I watch the news a
lot now...look at the war, look at gas prices. People can't even afford
to drive to work every day.I'm not tryin' to get people all pessimistic
because we gonna
have a better day soon. We're just in a transitional period right now.
people gotta use their voice. A lot of people are feeling
a closed mouth don't get fed.
With his official National Guard discharge finally sent to him this past April,
Khrysis can now fully focus on his multiple projects including
placement on Helta Skelta's upcoming album Dirt, Rapper Big Pooh's
solo Dirty Pretty Things, Legacy's Suicide Music, Khrysis' own solo
project Khrysis On The Boards With The Heat vol 2 (mixed by DJ
Rhettmatic), and The Away Team's The Warm Up.
Khrysis' latest album with Away Team partner Sean Boog, titled Training Day [click to read], is in stores now.