Khrysis Explains Dodging Duty In Iraq
"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."
Khrysis 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. But people gotta use their voice. A lot of people are feeling powerless...but 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.