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Warren Airman interprets life through music

F. E. Warren AFB, Wyo. -- When he decided to join the Air Force in 2003 as a firefighter, the idea of ending his interest in music never crossed his mind. For many people who play music as a hobby, that's just what it is, a hobby. But for Senior Airman Josh McGinnis, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, music is a way to keep him going. It's a way for him to interpret his life.

"I write and rap about everyday things, good and bad," Airman McGinnis said. "I rap about things close to me like personal issues. It makes things easier to deal with."

Airman McGinnis has had an interest in rap music since he was 9 and has been writing and rapping his own material since freshman year of high school. He and his classmates would freestyle rap, which is rapping off the top of your head.

"We would just sit around the lunch table and rhyme," Airman McGinnis said. "I have always had a smart mouth, and I like to talk, so it all worked out."

Music groups like The Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Sublime have all been inspirations for his music, allowing him to dabble in different sounds and lyrics that make his sound unique.

"I like all kinds of old-school music," he said. "Everyone likes different kinds."
Stationed at Warren, Airman McGinnis said Cheyenne has more of a mainstream liking for rap, and with Warren having more people from all over, the music scene is more diverse.

"I'm not so much into the mainstream rap, but I'm into a lot of the underground music, or the music that not everyone knows about," he said.

Airman McGinnis isn't into rap with the intent to make money but says he does it for himself.

"My music is real," he said. "It's what I feel I want to do at that given time."

Airman McGinnis has completed three compact disks so far with his most recent one titled "Mics, Mouth and Manuals," and he is working on more than 45 songs for upcoming projects. He makes the music in a recording studio in his basement.

In April, he traveled to California to perform in several underground rap shows and said the response has been a positive one.

"I can't describe the feeling of performing in front of crowds," he said. "It gets your adrenaline up so much because you don't know if they are going to like you or not."

Airman McGinnis along with several other Warren members performed here during Warren's Open Mic Night in the Pronghorn Center.

His plans for the future are big, and he said he would like to get deeper into the rap business.

"[Rapping] is one of the best things in my life right now," he said. "I want to take it further."

With workdays filled with roll calls, equipment checking, training and emergency responses, Airman McGinnis always has a notepad for lyric and music ideas.

Having a hobby such as music helps Airman McGinnis get though everyday stress and stand as an example of how important it is to have an interest as a stress reliever. He has big plans for his music future and will continue to make music that means a lot to him.

"If I had to describe my music in one word, it would be thankful," he said. "If I didn't have this, I wouldn't be here today."