Just a few months after dropping his major label debut with the "Saaab Stories" EP, Action Bronson reunites with producer Party Supplies to entertain fans with the sequel to their lauded "Blue Chips" mixtape.
Action Bronson is not your typical rapper. The portly fire-flame gourmet chef turned rapper with a shock of curly red beard, whose father is an Albanian immigrant and mother is a Jewish New Yorker, looks nothing like his peers. Sharpening his lyrical skills with several mixtapes, Bronson dropped his major label debut EP Saaab Stories a few months ago. Still not wanting to fit in with the pack, the Flushing, NY representative is back with another offering, this time serving up the sequel to last year’s Blue Chips mixtape, which only widens the gap between him and the rest.
Just as he worked exclusively with producer Harry Fraud for his EP, Bronson teams up once again with the original Blue Chips conductor Party Supplies. The chemistry between the Queens emcee and the Brooklyn-born producer Party is obvious. In an era where rappers work with numerous producers and even more artists for a jam-packed project full of guest appearances, Bronson sticks to the formula that he already knows works.
Bronson has always let his imagination run wild. With Blue Chips 2, he takes us on a drug-fueled trip wherein he's the star of his own stories, which take place in an underbelly Mafioso world filled with ample references to his food obsession. While some punchline rappers tend to lose focus on the entirety of a track while concentrating on specific jokes, Bronson’s one-two punches follow each other with such fluid frequency that the jokes become the main attraction. He rarely misses.
On "It Concerns Me," Bronson paints a vivid picture of a typical day in the life of an underboss, where nothing is really typical at all:
"Playing poker on the river boat / Hid the ace long rifle in my bitch’s coke / Flip off the balcony, knife to the throat, ice in the coke/ Coke on the table, wildin’ out in Roanoke/ Hall & Oats we at the benefit for wild owls / They had the fresh water bass served five styles / Flicks with Ellen DeGeneres rockin Perry Ellis / Been a degenerate cutting ribbons with senators."
Bronson, real name Arian Allsani, uses Blue Chips 2 to once again showcase his humor. Who else would include an Applebee’s commercial, a Phil Mickelson ad for Enbrel joint pain medication and a spot for old school disc jockey Cousin Brucie playing your favorite oldies on a mixtape? Bronson’s one-liners ("Your chance is thin like the moustache of Puerto Rican;" "If there’s chicken in the building, you know I’m smothering that;" "Hand up her ass like a Muppet baby") pepper the project like a well-seasoned roast.
Bronson also uses the opportunity to travel back in time to the 90's, when lyrical rap was at the forefront, to coerce Patrick Ewing into missing the finger roll in the infamous Game 7 of the '95 playoffs against the Indiana Pacers in "9.24.13."
On "Contemporary Man," Bronson is quick on his feet as he bobs and weaves through this complicated, multi-sampled track:
"Yea, fuck the back talk, save all that pussy shit for the cat walk / Now write your name 100 times on the blackboard / Just a white man excelling in a Black sport like I’m Pistol Pete / You already know you a goner when I kiss your cheek / Life your feet, like when your sister sweeps / Fine dining, drink water out the crystal creek / Straight from Queens rocking leathers like I’m Mr. Cheeks."
Allen Iverson’s infamous rant about missing practice opens up the horn-filled "Practice." Bronson is at his best when he’s flexing his creative and lyrical prowess like a skilled rapper with ADHD:
"It be the novelist, bare-handed choke a hippopotamus / I need to go to Drug Dealing Anonymous / Cheerio ship-flip like Rey Mysterio / Me laid up with big money be the scenario / Out the watch flew a canary, it’s cuckoo / Let my man who just came home throw a party where you poo-poo / Uh, that is not a nice thought / Get locked up in the afternoon, I make it out by Night Court."
Party Supplies is as much the star of Blue Chips 2 as the 29-year-old rapper. As with the predecessor, Blue Chips 2 is heavy on the samples. He turns The Champs’ "Tequila" into the soundtrack for the drug heist "Pepe Lopez," uses the Pharcyde’s "Passin' Me By" for "Through The Eyes Of A G," takes Tracy Chapman’s "Give Me One Reason" for the inspiration behind "Amadou Diallo" and somehow blends five different beats from hit singles from the 80’s including John Mellencamp, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel into the frenzied and chopped "Contemporary Man."
The only big name features on the 19-track project come from Mac Miller and TDE's Ab-Soul. Bronson's cousin Big Body Bes lends his voice for several tracks. While he shines on the intro, Big Body drags down "Twin Peugots", an otherwise stellar song featuring Mac, one of the rare mistakes on the mixtape.
Anyone who still feels Bronson's tone and cadence bears a resemblance to that of Wu Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah should be quieted by Blue Chips 2. Bronson has clearly found his own voice and narrative style, and continues to operate in his own lane. This project is as unfiltered and as unique as the Flushing, Queens emcee himself, and is a refreshing take on the hip-hop landscape that's sure to be one of the year's best mixtapes.
*Read all the words to Blue Chips 2 at gotbars.com.