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The Arsonists (from the Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Radio Show Vaults)

More beer coming soon! I’m trying to set up a BierWAX visit to Other Half Brewing Company to get some behind the scenes shots. I’m also sitting on some photos from my trip up to Ithaca Beer Company over the summer. More music, for now. I’m having too much fun rediscovering these cassette tapes which have been sitting in shoeboxes for too long. Enjoy!

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The Arsonists 

Driving up to Binghamton, New York with a random assortment of emcees was an experience I’ll never forget. My brother from another mother Reals TCK ran a radio show up at Binghamton University called Tae Kwon Flows, named after a line from the Arsonists’ first single “The Session.” I helped him coordinate a hip hop show in Binghamton. I don’t remember if it was hosted by his show or one of the many student groups on campus. I do remember that I was asked to pick up the Arsonists somewhere in Manhattan and drive them up to Binghamton, a 4-hour drive. On a broke student budget, we had enough funds to rent a wreck. I think that’s what the car-rental company was actually called. I pulled up to the designated curb in a beat-up extra long van. The 4-hour drive was a blur of disses back and forth, D-Story and Kinetic clowning each other, and other shenanigans from the group of talented emcees who were trying to establish a name for themselves in the burgeoning independent hip hop scene of the late 1990s. The performance was filled with plenty of charisma and energy, as captured in the first appearance of the Arsonists on the DJ Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Radio Show on 89Tek9 below.

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After releasing their LP, As the World Burns, the Arsonists shrunk in size from eight members to eventually three. The group quietly released another album in 2001 and continued to tour. A third LP was in the works, but never saw the light of day. Q-Unique, D-Stroy, Freestyle, Jise, and Swel continue to raise aloft the Arsonists’ banner, while focusing on their individual projects.

Sometimes you never know where you might bump into a former Arsonists member.  Here we are with Kinetic at the NYC Craft Beer Festival, a BierWAX moment for sure.

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