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Marines in Iraq – It’s Tricky Run DMC

Submitted by on January 6, 2013 – 1:53 pm No Comment


Marine Corps Rap Way Back in 2005

In late December 2005 I finally decided to check one of the up and coming new sites that had been getting some early tech blog love called YouTube. Keep in mind this was well before YouTube was venture funded by Sequoia Capital and almost a year before Google acquired them. I think YouTube was still in a building in San Mateo, CA above a pizza place and really was nothing resembling what it is today.

Most of the videos I tried to watch back then were just videos of people doing stupid things like Jumping on the Wall or Carrie and the Chicken until I came across an interesting video made by five U.S  Marines while on deployment in Iraq. This was definitley one of the very first “home made” music videos and certainly one of the earliest parody videos from Iraq. An edited  home made video version of Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky”,It was done fairly.  It seemed like an odd choice since this old school rap song was topping the charts when most of these guys were just starting pre-K.. Nonetheless, the YouTube video was still entertaining.

Like any tech geek I figured out a way to rip it to my machine so I could watch it later without having to deal with the buffering issues of the day. Back then ripping videos was not an easy task and was compounded by Youtube’s bandwidth and buffering issues that made watching any video mostly frustrating pre-Google acquisition.

About a month later I got a new machine and threw the old machine in the closet . That’s where the ripped video would remain unwatched for seven years. Last month I finally decided to thin out my antique computer collection and while cleaning off the hard drives came across the video I ripped way back then.  Watching it again in 2012 I thought to myself  “I wonder if it is still there and what ever happened to these Marines”

Was it Still There?

Unfortunately it was not still there under it’s original posting. I did find that it had been uploaded again in 2007 by the user Stingdar who indicated he did not make the video but simply had reposted it. Living just a few blocks away from YouTube Headquarters and knowing a few people that work there as well patronizing the unofficial morning hangout of YouTube on a daily basis, that being the Starbucks in Bay Hill Shopping Center right around the corner from YT HQ, I thought I would take a long shot and ask around about it.

What I learned was that it was probably taken down due to a copyright complaint. Back then, very much still in the hunt for venture capital YouTube didn’t need any lawsuits or bad press concerning copyright issues so they aggressively killed any video that contained any copyrighted material.  In 2007 after the Google acquisition, YouTube developed their current policy of dealing with copyright by allowing the original content owners to earn revenue by ads or to remove it entirely. That’s more than likely the reason Stingdar’s version remained five years later as you can see the original song is being peddled by iTunes via the video .

Who Are These Marines and Where Are They Today?

Watching the video it isn’t clear at all where they were deployed, or what unit they were in or even very much about who they were other than some last name credits at the end mixed in with some self styled nick names.

Searching Google I didn’t get any solid leads till I searched for “SSGT Rangel Count of Al Qaim” and I found this, an unrelated Official Marine Corps Article about these same five Marines deployed in a very hostile forward position at Camp Al Qaim with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26. This really adds an interesting perspective on this video as Al Qaim was the scene of some intense fighting around this time period with The Battle of Al Qaim.



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