Label: Vice/Warner Bros.
From: Queens, New York
Active Since: 2008
Latest Release: Rare Chandeliers
Recent Single: "Strictly 4 My Jeeps"
Watching the video to "Strictly 4 My Jeeps" can be an odd experience if you're not up on the who's who of the rap game. There's a 280-plus pound man performing cartwheels, rolling in a Jeep, and doing this weird squatting/hip thrusting maneuver behind a rather large woman. And he cooks, too. Yep, that's the guy who's one of the most exciting rappers around.
Those who are already up on Action Bronson know this is hardly as crazy as it gets for the Albanian out of Queens; the true insanity lies in the lyrics. A listen to any one of his tracks will reveal a rap for rap's sake aesthetic, but what sets him apart is how he seems to always connect surreal imagery and out there references (when was the last time Barry Horowitz was relevant?) effortlessly in his verses. Whether it's through technical prowess, high-energy, or—as in most cases—both, Action Bronson just gets it done in accessible fashion. Claims like "People on my dick because I'm vicious with the diction” feel earned instead of pure shit talk because of this.
The man has a hell of an ear for beats, too. Brosolino has the charisma to carry a mixtape on his own, but his habit of sticking with one producer per project has paid dividends. Dr. Lecter with Tommy Mas bangs, and Blue Chips with Party Supplies is a chaotic piece of work that stands as not just as Bronson's masterworks, but one of NYC's finest. Rare Chandeliers with The Alchemist is also ripe with highlights. Odds say we got another banger on our hands when Saab Stories drops. —Brian Josephs