When Nashville native Ryan Taylor served in Iraq, he says, he was alert constantly.
"You hear that mortar rounds just went off. How close was it.... you start staying awake at night, and so to drown out the sounds, we would start, you know, tapping on our foot lockers. And we would start just like freestyle rapping. Some of us, all of a sudden, was like, 'Hey, you know, we're making some pretty good songs here.' I mean, we would just sit back and write music at night till four, five, six o'clock in the morning."