Arsonists (hip hop group)
|Also known as||Bushwick Bomb Squad|
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
|Labels||Fondle 'Em, Matador|
|Past members||Ching Rock
Arsonists are an underground hip hop group. Their album, As the World Burns (1999), reached #78 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and yielded the single "Pyromaniax", which went to #43 on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart.
The group formed with five members in 1993 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York with the name Bushwick Bomb Squad. The main members were Q-Unique, D-Stroy, Freestyle, Swel Boogie and Jise One, although the number of members eventually grew to eight. Q-Unique was a member of New York City's well-known breakdancing crew, the Rock Steady Crew. The group released the single, "The Session", in 1996, which found airplay on New York radio stations and brought offers from record labels. They signed with the independent label Fondle 'Em Records and changed their name to the Arsonists. They released their debut album, As the World Burns, in 1999 on Matador Records, an indie rock label that ventured into hip hop music for the release. The album received critical acclaim, but didn't achieve mainstream commercial success; it reached #78 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. They appeared on the digital hardcore band Atari Teenage Riot's final album 60 Second Wipeout (1999) that year. The group went from five members, down to three: Q-Unique, Jise One and Swel Boogie, for their follow-up album, Date of Birth (2001). With their live performances, the group is known to be very varied in their rap style, drawing on many old school hip hop and east coast hip hop influences. Kansas City's alternative weekly newspaper, The Pitch, described them as "one of the best live bands in hip-hop" in 2001. On 18 August 2011, Arsonists played the first show in 11 years that had all four members on stage at Hip Hop Kemp, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.
A new album called Lost in the Fire was planned for 2013 with the original members Q-Unique, D-Stroy, Freestyle, Swel Boogie and Jise One. Early 2015, the album is not released yet.
- "The Session" (1996)
- "Blaze/Geembo's Theme/Flashback" (Fondle 'Em, 1998)
- "Backdraft" (Matador, 1999)
- "Pyromaniax" (Matador, 1999)
- "Backdraft/Halloween II" (Matador, 1999)
- "As the World Burns" (Matador, 1999) [instrumental limited edition]
- Billboard Albums. Allmusic.
- Billboard Singles. Allmusic.
- McCabe, Bret (June 28, 2001). "Fire Starters". Dallas Observer. Retrieved on February 23, 2009.
- Waggoner, Eric (June 21, 2001). "Hot Stuff". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved on February 23, 2009.
- Gillin, Eric (August 30, 1999). "Arsonists Light Up Bowery". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on February 23, 2009.
- Hensley, J.J. (April 27, 2000). "The Arsonists/DVS Mindz/Seven Fold Symphony/Mac Lethal & Approach". The Pitch. Retrieved on February 23, 2009.