When rapping first became prominent in the 1970s, the MC wasn’t the star of the show. It was all about helping the DJ get the party started and ensuring the audience felt the good vibes. However, the 1980s were a radically different time, as they saw the rise of the rapper and the rise of rap competitions. It was called battle rap, and it brought together communities, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Just like that, the rapper became the face of the operation, and to this day, battle rappers are considered a superior breed. Their music always sounded the best, and their shows were always the most popping. It’s no surprise everyone’s excited to see what Battle Rapper of the Decade Arsonal Da Rebel has in store for the music world.
Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, a cultural hub, Arsonal Da Rebel has had a lot of experience in the spotlight. With 67 battles under his belt and over 87 million views to back them up, he has been regarded by many (VerseTracker included) as one of the most highly-ranked rappers to come out of the battle rap scene and make use of the internet’s abundant rap fandom. Having appeared on hit programs such as Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, he is resounding evidence that the key to success is hard work, a true DIY philosophy, and natural skill. The large fan base he has behind him isn’t the byproduct of signing with a major label, but rather the result of what great rapping gets you in today’s musical scene. Arsonal Da Rebel is the epitome of a self-made rapper.
Arsonal has now decided to take a small break from the battle world to give fans a look into what’s really been going through his mind. With police brutality on the rise and protests occurring across the nation, “Product of My Environment” is an unapologetic statement that tries to make sense of the situation and gives a perspective on what this is all like for a young black man like Arsonal. Produced by Wyclef Jean, Arsonal’s track is a political powder keg of raw emotion and personal tribulations, making no concessions to the opposition. This is a story that this nation is in dire need of hearing.
The “Product of My Environment” video is a first-hand look into the reality of what life is like for this nation’s marginalized minority. Set in Arsonal’s prized home of Newark, the audience is shown images of people protesting, cops in riot gear, and a child viewing all of it from his TV. It’s a statement on how the young are indoctrinated early into this worldview, and Arsonal responds to it by banding together with his community and taking a stand for what is right. He may not be able to protect the kids from seeing the world as it truly is, but he can sure as hell protect them and himself from the danger that it spews forth. This video is a call for the community’s survival and Arsonal hopes that whoever watches is willing to pick up.