Arsonal Says He Has The Best Funk Flex Freestyle…And That Includes Black Thought
Newark, New Jersey Battle Rap star, Arsonal Da Rebel, is the latest MC to flame the mic on Funkmaster Flex’s freestyle segment. However, while most MCs come to prove their worth on the mic, this lyricist—seen in the 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards cyphers, is out for symbolic blood. He goes straight at both Tory Lanez and Joyner Lucas, while also challenging others considered the nicest in the industry. He calls out the competition in all kinds of different ways during his lengthy turn, but then also states it plainly when conversing with Flex afterward.
For seven-and-a-half minutes Ars spits the kind of venomous raps that end careers over Snoop Dogg’s “Murder Was The Case” instrumental (produced by Dr. Dre). His hunger and creativity seem to have shifted this high-performance machine into overdrive, and this freestyle is the byproduct. From start to finish he exhibits the confidence of 10 men, throwing Flex crazy looks every time he mentions the vet DJ’s name. While some of his punchlines are obvious and easy to catch, others are intricate and require multiple listens to enjoy.
Around the 7:36 mark, the battle rapper’s voice starts to get strained from going so hard for so many minutes straight. And he has such a multitude of amazing bars, it’s impossible to pick just a couple. However, we would be remiss not to quotes these rhymes, “Stairway to heaven, better hold on the banister / Lil’ ni**a came through, mopped sh*t like he a janitor / I plan a trip to pick up a pack, I hit the road wit’cha / Pay the tolls wit’cha / Kill you and homie that told wit’cha / Soon as the beef start you vegans gon’ sit alone, ni**a / It’s a wrap fast, they comparing me to the old Twista.” Aggressive, to say the least.
Battle Rap and the artists releasing songs and videos often appear to be viewed differently. Artists like Joe Budden, Canibus, and the legendary Craig G have crossed into those worlds at times. However, professional competitive MCs have a harder time having their music get taken seriously. With that chip on his shoulder, Arsonal throws elbows to his Rap peers on the side. Near the close, at 7:45, he tears into this month’s storyline of Joyner Lucas challenging Tory Lanez to a battle (which happened, over several back-and-forth’s, as well as yielding related responses from everybody from Ras Kass to Mysonne).
Arsonal spits, “F*ck yeah, I’m from Newark, I ain’t get stuck yet / I’m better than every other ni**a you had come up here / F*ck the industry, the underground is the better bracket.” The list includes Black Thought (who dropped a viral 2017 10-minute freestyle), as well as 2018 guests Dave East, Styles P, and Big Daddy Kane.
Arsonal moves on to specific opponents: “Tory and Joyner, I’m hear to join ya’ / We can meet at the corner, yes, meet on the corner / I give this Lloyd Banks-face-ass ni**a some pointers / And if Tory cross the border my daughter snatchin’ his water.” Seconds later, Arsonal declares, “I don’t give a f*ck about none of these Rap ni**as / Flex, let me come up in here and battle one of these Rap ni**as,” he says the two bars twice then stops rapping to tell the host, “Be clear, ni**a. I’m American, and I do this, baby. I talk that sh*t, ni**a. You can’t spell ‘bars’ without putting that ‘Ars’ in it, ni**a. Don’t ever disrespect us over here in the real spitters [section]!”
As the instrumental fades, Flex and Da Rebel have a conversation about Tory Lanez allegedly rallying against rappers from the United States. “That’s what you’re supposed to do, but I’m taking up for my team now,” says Arsonal. He says he wants competition, and “this can be the ring,” referring to the HOT 97 studio.