Action Bronson has become something of a cultural institution over the past few years.
Fresh from dropping his first independent album in six years, Bronson has of late lent his talents to places outside of music, the New York native hosted Viceland’s cooking show ‘F*ck, That's Delicious’ but he’s also a keen artist, he painted the cover of his new album – and perhaps most surprisingly he’s set to star in Martin Scorsese's mob crime movie ‘The Irishman’ starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino next year.
The Queens rapper, with his larger-than-life personality, is an embodiment of a hip-hop mentality, and his other passions, including his love for collecting sneakers “before it was cool” to do so perhaps represent that best. Bronson recently linked up with adidas Originals and Foot Locker in Berlin to launch the new adidas TRESC Run, an all-new sneaker powered by 90s culture – the decade when street fashion came to life and the era in which Action Bronson had his formative years before becoming the rapper we know today.
We caught up with Action Bronson before he set things off on stage at the adidas Originals x Foot Locker #TRESCRun garage in Berlin.
The adidas Originals TRESC Run is now available exclusively at Foot Locker Europe.
What are your first impressions of the TRESC Run?
I just think every time a new shoe drops I’m always skeptical you know what I mean? But when you first see these you’re like OK, you’re coming with some fire right here, literally. I love the accents, my whole thing in life is reflection you know, I’m a reflection of the sun. Someone in Brooklyn, a good friend of mine from back in the day put me on to this, you always buys sneakers with reflectors on them because when you take a picture you’re gonna be the only one beaming.
"I’ve been collecting SNEAKERS since there was no like collectors you know what I mean?"
It’s a 90s inspired sneaker – what are your memories of the 90s and how influential was that decade to the sound you’ve created?
I mean fond memories of the ‘90s, I’m a ‘90s baby, born in ‘83, I lived my whole life in the ‘90s you know what I mean? My whole early years that’s what shaped the man I am today. From the music to the street art to the sporting events, everything, wrestling, all this kinds of crazy sh*t. The ‘90s was a crazy place in New York City.
Are you a big sneakerhead?
I’ve been collecting since there was no like collectors you know what I mean? I been collecting sneakers when there were just these ones, nothing that was retro, you had to go get the original ones, the original shoes that no one else could really get so I’m an old school sneaker addict.
Can you remember the first adidas you copped?
Yes, the UltraBOOST version 1. I copped a couple shelltoes here and there throughout the years but that’s just a basic shoe, then I really, really came in to the UltraBOOST 1. The best shoe in my opinion.
White Bronco has just dropped – where does this rank amongst your releases and what was your motivation behind the record? It’s your first independent release in six years...
Yeah, it’s been a long time. Where I’m at is I don’t rank sh*t, it’s just another chapter you know? It’s just like Picasso when he does his blue phase, surrealism, cubism, he goes through different periods and this is my White Bronco period.
"I’VE WORKED THROUGHOUT THE YEARS WITH SO MANY UK ARTISTS, I GOTTA SHOUT OUT MY KURUPT FM FELLAS."
Who else are you listening to and rating right now?
Flor De Toloache, four women from Brooklyn and various other places. One of the most unbelievable quartets I’ve ever, ever heard in my life. Four amazing women playing tenor bass, acoustic guitar, violin, and trumpet or some kind of horn... don’t get my wrong on the horn, but traditional Mexican/Spanish kumbaya vibes mixed with jazz, it’s f*cking phenomenal. You gotta watch their NPR Tiny Desk.
Have you had many opportunities to check out any UK artists?
I’ve worked throughout the years with so many UK artists, I gotta shout out my Kurupt FM fellas, Chabuddy, that’s my dude whenever I see him, all those fellas I f*ck with. I f*ck with a lot of UK artists.
You’re taking over Berlin tonight – what do you make of European audiences and what are some of your favourite cities to play in?
European audiences are incredible, I mean when you come through Europe they let you know they love you, when they really f*ck with you they let you know. I’ve been through almost every city, and it’s been crazy. London and Paris have always been some crazy places, Copenhagen... oh my lord. Finland is absolutely f*cking bonkers, Sweden Stockholm, Berlin, Munich... Cologne was nuts. I don’t know what happened, sh*t just gets nuts. Touring Europe is amazing. Ireland... bro, f*cking Ireland though, Dublin holy sh*t. I’ve played Glasgow before too, the shows they were small but nuts, always fights, always fucking headbutts, it’s my favourite. They love to heabutt, it’s their form of “hello, I love you”, here’s a scar for life.
A big part of tonight is the TRESC Garage – what’s your car collection like?
I drive a JEEP Grand Cherokee right now, Laredo, brand new, I leased it for my mother but I bought her a new car and she just made me take over this one, I drive it every day, it’s one of the greatest cars in the history of life, it’s an everyday practical vehicle, with nice leather, it has a beautiful soundsystem, my leisure cars are Cadillacs and BMWs. I like a nice ‘86 [Cadillac] Biarritz, with the slanted trunk, and that fifth wheel on the back influenced a lot by Texas and UGK, Pimp C always rapped about having an ‘85 Biarritz with the trunk slanted, it’s a really weird looking car, I f*cking love it.
Are you a fan of customs? What would you get done to your ride if it was here tonight?
With taste. You can over customise a car, I like to treat my cars with respect and put the nicest things on them and stuff like my M6. The wagon has schmidts that are indestructible, you can literally drive to Cologne from here [Berlin] with no tyres just on the rims straight up!
How cool is it to link up with adidas on projects like this? What do you love about the brand?
I just love being involved in these types of events, they do cool sh*t, like this is a f*cking cool event. We’re in a crazy garage in Berlin, six floors up, who the fuck knows what’s gonna happen tonight you know? There’s always excitement.