Words About Music
Action Bronson “Blue Chips 2”
For the past couple years, one of the most unlikely rappers to make it big in this wild game is Action Bronson, a former chef from Flushing, Queens. Action Bronson is of Albanian descent and gave up a promising career in the culinary world to start rapping, one of the strangest yet most sane career transitions I’ve ever heard of. It also helped that he had a voice similar to Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah and enough knowledge about sports, food, and cars to at least establish a persona. With mixtapes like “Dr. Lecter,” “Blue Chips,” and “Rare Chandeliers” Bronson continued to grow stylistically, often working with one producer per mixtape (The Alchemist, Party Supplies, and Harry Fraud are all common appearances). With “Blue Chips 2,” the sequel to 2012’s excellent “Blue Chips,” Bronson reunites with Party Supplies with what could be one of his most comprehensive mixtapes ever, leading up to his upcoming debut album.
On “Blue Chips 2” are some of Action Bronson’s usual collaborators (Big Body Bes, Meyhem Lauren, Mac Miller), all delivering verses that fit very well with the smooth, almost 80s-like mood of the mixtape. And Action is at the top of his game, as he continues to make marijuana and food and cars interesting sounding. I don’t want to say the success of this mixtape is due solely to Party Supplies’ production, but that definitely plays a huge part. The beats are mysterious, catchy, smooth, and often draw from 80s classics like Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” and John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Dianne.” In fact, those two songs end up becoming used as the actual beats for parts of the song.
One can definitely make the case that Action Bronson raps about the same thing so much that it’s boring, but I beg to differ, because he does it in such an interesting way that he’s just a fun guy to listen to. And I just love the vibe that is exuded from this mixtape, too. Action Bronson has so much personality that it’s hard to dislike him. He can seriously rap over any beat thrown at him and he just absolutely kills it every time. It’s not always about his lyrical content. A big part of his appeal has always been the sound of his voice and his flow. He’s one of the most energetic sounding rappers in the game which is slightly surprising considering his size.
“Blue Chips 2” is full of beat switches, poor singing, car references, Charlie Sheen samples, and a sound so 80s-cheesy that it practically oozes Rubik’s cubes and “Top Gun,” but it all works in a way so amazing that I can’t really stress enough how worthwhile this mixtape is. While I can understand people’s complaints about Action Bronson, I feel like he’s a rapper who just gets better and better with each release. Sure there are parts of the tape that are unnecessary (I never understood the point of the Big Body Bes speaking parts) but for the most part, “Blue Chips 2” is an essential part of Action’s discography. Check it.
SCORE – 9.2
FAVORITE TRACKS – Silverado, Pepe Lopez, The Don’s Cheek, Practice, Jackson & Travolta, Through the Eyes of a G, Contemporary Man, Man & the Mirror, Midget Cough, 9.24.13, Rolling Thunder, Amadu Diablo, In The City, I Adore You