Action Bronson is a purveyor of delicious unexpectedness. Before he’s a heralded rap artist, who shares the same Goliath management as Eminem, Atlantic Records label as Boosie Badazz and facial hair with Rick Ross, he’s Arian Asllani, a Queens New York-bred, Albanian and Jewish culinary chef with his own cooking show.
Fans of the stage and stove, can easily find the impresario shopping stateside for heirloom tomatoes or overseas for samples. His fresh herb affinity ranges from cilantro to sour diesel. His commanding presence leans more towards a concerto tenor than master of ceremony, but his 14 karat rhyme bars exorcise wordsmiths like Kool G. Rap. Verses are delivered with the recklessness of a black market AR15, yet come bejeweled with sharp wit and highbrow hilarity. This isn’t your father’s favorite rapper. In a new world where rap fans are colorless and the Internet dictates TV, Action Bronson is a super hero whose physique ironically resembles a Viking warrior.
Since entering rap’s ring four years ago, Bronson has operated in large and cohesive fashion. His introductory appetizers began his penchant for having entire compositions produced by a single maestro. The break beat-powered, Tommy Maas-produced Dr. Lecter established Action as an MC purist focused on adding to the art form, while the Statik Selektah–scored Well Done showcased the early respect its author accrued via guests like Lil Fame. After dropping the audio feast that was the 2012 mixtape Blue Chips (co-piloted by Fools Gold Records DJ/production duo Party Supplies), the renaissance scribe inked a management deal with Eminem’s partner and manager Paul Rosenberg, then landed his first recording contract with Warner Bros via VICE’s label. The result would be more collaborative projects (AB and Alchemist’s Rare Chandeliers) major performances (Coachella 2013) and accolades (XXL Magazine’s Freshman class cover).
Action’s first full-length release Mr. Wonderful is a culmination of every ingredient that’s made his discography delectable, then taken levels higher. The album blends the MC’s influences––from Cam’ron’sPurple Haze to Hendrix’s––then colors a currently tope rap game with red-eyed global perspective. The musicality is grade A; live instrumentation turns Mr. Wonderful into a wonderland of sonic discovery. “A Light In The Addict,” featuring Party Supplies and Fools Gold vocalist Black Atlass, and “City Boy Blues,” which boasts the bottom production of 88 Keys and top coating of Party Supplies, both soar with gorgeous orchestration. The latter track in such a zone that Bronson doesn’t spit a single bar, instead letting his vocals ride the wave of soulful rock.
Action Bronson’s latest work is his best. Mr. Wonderful’s balance of aggressive flows and easy listening instrumentation, trippy sounds under dead-arm punch lines, make for hip-hop 2015’s finest cuisine. “I gave this my most incredible effort,” says Bronson of his debut. “If you listen to everything I’ve put out and then listen to this you’ll hear the steps that I’ve taken to go all out and show progression.”
When: Thursday, May 21
Where: Vogue Theatre
Doors: 8:00PM Show: 9:00PM
Tickets: On sale Friday, April 3 at 10 am at www.livenation.com