Newark New Jersey is a cultural hub for the battle rap scene, and Arsonal Da Rebel knows that scene well, and is regarded by many as one of the genre’s most highly-ranked, with 67 battles to his name, and more than 87 million views. He’s made appearances on top shows such as Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, and is a testament to how much success is made up of hard work, natural skill, and a philosophy that’s grounded in DIY. He’s the perfect example of a self-made rapper, with his large fan base supporting him and showing that having the goods is what gets you to the top.
Arsonal has taken a short hiatus from the battle rap world, and is now showing his fans what means most of all to him. His single, ‘Product Of My Environment’ pulls no punches about how he feels about the rise of police brutality and protests across the US, and is a statement which tries to make sense of the situation, giving his perspective, as a young black man in America. Produced by Wyclef Jean, the track is deeply personal, and filled with raw emotion, telling a story that needs to be told.
The video for ‘Product Of My Environment’ gives a fly on the wall view on what life is really like for young black men in the US. Set in Newark, we are shown images of protesters, police in riot gear, and all the while a child is watching it on TV. It shows how the young are indoctrinated, so early on, into this view on life, and Arsonal’s response is to gather all his community and to take a stand for what is right. Although he can’t protect the children from seeing the world as it truly is, he can certainly make sure the community they live in survives and it’s his hope that someone else picks up the baton after him.
Check out Arsonal Da Rebel online on Instagram. Watch the video for ‘Product Of My Environment’ below.