Various Artists

Voices from the Frontline

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An extraordinary rap album that should be required listening for those perhaps least likely to hear it, this collection of spoken word, freestyle rapping, and grainy hip-hop forms the authentic combined voice of members of the armed forces serving, or having served, in Iraq. Everyday experiences, as routine as a mail call or as bewildering as the sudden violent death of a comrade, are brought into sharp relief in these stark, simple vignettes, and the raps, far removed from the world of street posturing, have one message: this is reality, in all its messiness, craziness, and sadness.

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