BAGHDAD (AP) — After more than eight years in Iraq, the departing American military's legacy includes a fledgling democracy, bitter memories of war, and for the nation's youth, rap music, tattoos and slang.
In other words, as the Dec. 31 deadline for completing their withdrawal approaches, U.S. troops are leaving behind the good, the bad and what "Lil Czar" Mohammed calls the "punky."
Sporting baggy soldiers' camouflage pants, high-top sneakers and a back-turned "N.Y." baseball cap, the chubby 22-year-old was showing off his break-dancing moves on a sunny afternoon in a Baghdad park. A $ sign was shaved into his closely cropped hair.
"While others might stop being rappers after the Americans leave, I will go on (rapping) till I reach N.Y.," said Mohammed, who teaches part-time at a primary school.