Infantry rap artist looks to spread positive message

20 Nov 2006 | Cpl. Paul Robbins Jr.

Jotting down a few lyrics on a small notepad before heading out on a security patrol, Lance Cpl. Earl J. Clark II creates more ammunition for his inevitable assault on the rap music community.

Serving as a rifleman for Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Clark spends the majority of his days standing security posts at the Government Center or patrolling the streets of Ramadi.

In his hours of rest however, Clark can be found hunched over his notebooks preparing for his return home and the start of his music career.

“Anytime I get a chance, I’m writing,” said Clark, a native of Savannah, Ga. “I’ve written 15 songs since I’ve been here.”

Clark began writing music at the age of 13 after receiving praise in his hometown for freestyle performances.

Originally pulling his inspiration from artists like Nas (for his lyricism) and Pastor Troy (for his pride in where he comes from), Clark finds his latest inspiration in his fellow Marines.

“I get a lot of my inspiration from the Marines, what we do here and the high emotional state around here,” said Clark.

On his second deployment, Clark uses his writing to relieve the stresses of a combat zone.

Writing music allows the expression of thoughts and emotions that are difficult to get out in normal conversations, explained  Clark.

“Only through my music can I really say what I want to say,” said Clark.

Clark’s songs express his thoughts on everything from the difficulties of war to the struggles of every day life.

Much of Clark’s music contains both emotional and violent content, but the overall message of the artist known as “Post Traumatic” is a positive one.

“Most rappers today talk about dealing drugs and violence growing up,” said Clark. “The message I put out is you don’t have to be a drug dealer to put out a rap album.”

When his current deployment ends, Clark looks forward to spreading his message to the rap community.

Thirteen songs from his writing in Iraq will be chosen for an album yet untitled, said Clark.

With his album in hand, Clark hopes to tour North Carolina and his home state of Georgia performing his music. 

“I decided to put out my music when I return,” said Clark. “And I look forward to performing it back home.”