Pushback — Episode 6: Message Music

In recognition of Black Music Month, we bring you a conversation about message music — protest music, socially conscious music, whatever you want to call it — and the roots of Philadelphia-raised rapper ARSIN. After an upbringing in a rough neighborhood known as The Bottom — where, by his count, 45 friends of his friends have been killed — ARSIN has become a notable anti-violence lyricist and activist, who, in his latest single “For the Camera,” goes as far as to call himself “a product of the marches.” On this episode, in addition to sampling some of ARSIN’s music, we discuss what is (and isn’t) a protest song, why cursing and rap need not coexist, and which artists inspire ARSIN today.


ARSIN (born Vinte Clemons) — rapper and activist