I have a brother in the Army and around 96/97, he got deployed to a base in Germany.
He was heavy into Wu Tang until he came back in 98. By that time, he said he preferred No Limit because “a lot of the tracks they make are like the chants we do during marches & drill commands”.
I thought he was exaggerating, just because of the No Limit logo and because Master P rhymed about hustling & Ice Cream trucks. I couldn’t see the link at first, but he proved his point eventually when he’d play certain tracks.
I later found out that Mystikal served in Desert Storm. Ever since then, I’ve always wondered whether it’s coincidence or a smart marketing plan when I see artists dressed in military uniform and using military themes in their music.
No Limit Records:
Throw Ya Gunz…
Wu Tang Clan:
Killarmy’s music had a heavy military presence in.
Boot Camp Clik:
Then you had the Queens rappers like Mobb Deep & CNN who compared their hoods to being on the frontline and rocked Timbalands with fatigues.
“sneak an Uzi on the Island in my army jacket lining” – Nas – It Ain’t Hard To Tell
Even Nas was The General at one point.
Stack Bundles would often shout “Squuaaad Up!” Not to mention The A-Team of Ransom and Hitchcock.
Cash Money Records:
Ruff Ryders & D Block:
Dmx would often wear dog tags.
Dee from Ruff Ryders has said that rappers such as Eve were put through a boot camp to sharpen their skills.
Let’s not forget what who the original Ruff Ryders were.
G-Unit aka Guerilla Unit (or Gorilla Unit):
As you may already know, Tupac was also an avid reader of strategy and military books, which is how he gave himself the alias Makaveli. Also, all of the Outlawz were named after military dictators. He often made records that had a military theme from a strategic perspective.
“Roc-a-fella is the army, better yet the navy” – Jay-Z.