DANIEL RAY RODRIGUEZ
Born and raised in Virginia.
influenced, I truly believe, by every sound and artist I've heard in someway- shout out VA rap, Weird Al, Oldies rock and roll, and Eminem.
At 18 I deployed to Iraq and was wounded on my second deployment to Afghanistan at the age of 20 as an infantryman.
I was Awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal for Valor for actions under fire that would later unfold to be the deadliest battle in the wars history to date.
Returning home, I walked on at Clemson University and played briefly for the Rams organization in the NFL.
I’m a best selling author, public speaker, actor (actually playing myself in a motion picture called The Outpost)but I’ve been ready to put recording artist on my resume for much longer than any of the other titles have existed because its the one I've known was in me the longest.
I hope you enjoy my sounds and feel the passion I have for writing and communicating through music.
BONGS OVER BAGHDAD
My father, a veteran and devout rush Limbaugh fan, raised me to work hard and go to college after high school, but, if for whatever reason my future were to lead me into the military; He’d tell me not to be an infantryman like himself., but to get a trade you can use when you get out. He’d also regularly make me recite the following: No tattoos, no earrings, no long hair, no drugs, no alcohol, say sir and mam, and that manners are free. I fell, and I’m still falling far from his desired tree in some regard, but my manners made it.
When I was 18, naïve, immature, and barely exposed to the world outside of my upbringing. I admitted to smoking weed one time because I thought honesty was the best policy. As I sat across from my Army recruiter at MEPS, in Fort Lee Virginia, I was informed that since inhaling within the last year the security clearance I needed would be revoked, and I would have to wait another 6 months to re-enlist for the tech job I had just qualified for. Literally 10 minutes prior to sitting down with her to finalize my paperwork.
I asked what my other options were, and she proceeded to list jobs such as: cook, supply, and truck driver, and I knew that wasn’t going to be for me, or that I was leaving that base without something getting me out of my hometown.
I asked if they had infantry. She replied, “You do realize we’re at a time of war don’t you.” I replied. “Yes Mam.”
By the time my security clearance would have been reinstated I was boots down in Baghdad, and what I soon experienced would make me, at times, regret enlisting altogether. I’d frequently find myself huffing cigarettes after a crazy moment, and think how I’d rather be ripping a bong than be here.