Kanye West Gives Back to Iraq War Vets in "Choose or Lose" Special

July 22, 2008 9:00 AM ET

Kanye West is hooking up with MTV for the new documentary Choose or Lose & Kanye West Present: Homecoming. In the hour-long doc, West and MTV VJ Sway Calloway will go to the homes of recently returned Iraq war veterans to hear their stories about their service and how they're re-acclimating to civilian life. At each stop, West will present the soldiers with a gift, with the rapper paying their rent, taking care of their debt or funding their tuition. "There are hundreds of veterans out there who are falling through the cracks. They make the ultimate sacrifices for us by laying down their lives, but it seems like a lot of them just get forgotten about" said West. "I know my music inspires and helps a lot of people but you can always do more. I teamed up with MTV and took the opportunity to share the spotlight with these veterans and hear their stories." The Choose or Lose special will air on MTV on Monday, July 28th, at 10PM EST.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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