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American Warlord: The Story of Chucky Taylor, American Teen Turned Torture Suspect

September 15, 2008 1:42 PM ET

Chucky Taylor was an ordinary suburban teenager — until he went to live with his father, one of Africa's most brutal dictators. How did a kid from Orlando end up as the first U.S. citizen on trial for torture abroad? Read part of Johnny Dwyer's story from the new issue here.

A few weeks before we published "American Warlord," Chucky Taylor, the article's subject, sent us a song he recorded. We weren't quite sure what to expect coming from someone accused of crimes ranging from electrocuting a victim's genitals, summary executions and ordering beheadings — but nothing could've really prepared us for the '80s electro-soul love rap we did receive.

Taylor sent us a letter with the track explaining his music. "Do I consider myself an artist? No! I feel like I have something to share and say and music is another avenue," he wrote. After he fled the collapse of his father's dictatorship in Liberia, Taylor recorded approximately 20 tracks at a studio called Eclipse Audio in Trinidad. He would later be arrested in Miami and indicted as the first person to be tried under a federal anti-torture statute.

"The album is a snap shot of my thoughts and feelings at that time prior to my arrest," he wrote. "My fathers [sic] Presidency was the culmination of his goals and dreams not mine."

Given the seriousness of the charges he faces, we're wary to provide an open platform for Taylor to promote his music. But you can check out a sample from his track "Angel" here and judge for yourself.

Related Stories:
American Warlord
The Troubled Homecoming of the Marlboro Marine
The Stories Behind Generation Kill

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