Combat medic Phillip Harris enlisted in the Army in 2005 after losing a friend in the 9/11 attacks. (WRDW-TV / July 26, 2011)
Combat medic Phillip Harris enlisted in the Army in 2005 after losing a friend in the 9/11 attacks. However, Harris did not expect to leave under the hip-hop moniker of P-Nyce.
"I joined the military shortly after 9/11," Harris said. "I had a friend that was killed in the ordeal, and I wanted to make a difference."
Originally from Dinwiddie, Va., Harris was stationed at Fort Gordon and served in Iraq where he found his talent and passion for hip-hop music.
"While serving in Iraq, me and my comrades had some free time on our hands so we decided to build a studio," Harris said. "It was overseas when I decided to hone my craft."
Harris and his comrades found comfort from the war by recording music in a 15 x 15 foot studio that they built.
He took on the name of P-Nyce while enlisted and returned to Augusta to follow his dreams.
Keion Taylor, owner of the Alter Egoz Sports Bar and Grill, was a comrade of Harris and is currently his business partner.
"You could see that he was very talented. I saw that he could go somewhere," Taylor said. "I always pushed him and told him to follow his dreams."
Since his return in 2010, Harris became a radio personality at Power 107, has performed with other well-known artists and has produced professional-quality music videos for several of his songs.
Minnesota Fattz, the program director at Power 107, is the one who hired Harris because of his charisma and positivity.
"This guy was really connected in the streets," Fattz said. "I think that was a missing link to our radio station; having someone who was entrenched in the streets with parties and whatever else was going on in our community."
Tutu the Bad Boy Radio, a radio personality at Clear Channel and a coworker alongside Harris, explained his views on the veteran.
"My father was a veteran in the Vietnam War. Any chance you get to work with a vet, it's a special thing because you know they've been through a lot," Tutu said. "They've given a lot and sacrificed a lot."
Harris's story is a message to others to stay focused on your goals no matter the circumstances.
"Without the military, I wouldn't be where I am now," Harris said. "It gave me the discipline to go out there and work hard. Hopefully, people will want to support me and come out to see P-Nyce aka Phil Harris."
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