Action Bronson is as charismatic as ever on his first album in two years.
Although it’s been a while since we’ve heard new music from him, the last couple of years have certainly not been quiet for chef-cum-rapper Arian Asllani, better known as Action Bronson. When he’s not in the booth, the New Yorker has been filming his cult food/travel show Fuck, That’s Delicious, taking hefty dabs while watching Ancient Aliens with his homies, writing his first cookbook, or touring the globe, all while being a father. So it’s understandable that it’s taken the 33 year-old this long to lift the curtain on his hotly-anticipated 4th studio album; Blue Chips 7000, his first since 2015.
Throughout its 13 tracks, we hear Action at his unapologetic best, delivering his descriptive, hilarious and imaginative lyrics with his trademark husky tone, rhyming over a diverse range of instrumentals composed by usual collaborators The Alchemist, Harry Fraud, Knxwledge and Party Supplies. The overall tone is of 7000 noticeably less commercial-sounding than his breakout record Mr. Wonderful, showing little desire to reproduce the radio-friendly, bigger-budget bangers of ‘Baby Blue’ or ‘Easy Rider’, instead building more of a mixtape-level vibe, making it work strongest as a whole experience.
Bronson weaves his usual topics of food, cars, violence, sport, sex, weed, movies and an overall prowess of living into ridiculously entertaining narratives peppered with skits and obscure references that illustrate him as a larger than life cartoon character (“The sky opened up and down came me/Young A.B./floatin’ in a Jag from the ’80s“). He never takes himself too seriously, yet shows no shortage of confidence, with his love for the old-school greats (Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, Doom, Kool G Rap, Nas) shining through.
Openers ‘Wolfpack’ and ‘La Luna’ set the tone for the album, followed by the epic ‘The Chairman’s Intent’, which is the undeniable the standout of the album, with an addictive guitar loop that A.B. rides effortlessly with his infectious energy. The Rick Ross-featuring ‘9-24-7000’ adds a chilled vibe to the records latter-half, while Mayhem Lauren delivers some great bars on ‘Hot Pepper’, where himself and Bronson rap over the forgotten reggae gem from obscure Jamaican DJ Jah Tiger, and Big Body Bes makes an appearance that a description could never do justice to (his hook on the catchy, stripped-back closer ‘Durag vs. Headband is nothing if not special).
There’s a handful of other tracks that feel a little underdeveloped or scatterbrained, and would perhaps be better-suited to a mixtape rather than an album, but ultimately you’ll be having too much fun listening to Action spit bars about the strenuous efforts he would go to to trim a bonzai tree to care. So while it’s not perfect, if you’re looking for an entertaining alternative hip hop record to distract you from mundane of reality, you’d be foolish to listen to anything but Blue Chips 7000. (7/10) (Woody Delaney)
Listen to Blue Chips 7000 here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: action bronson, album review, Atlantic, blue chips 7000, hip hop, new york, rick ross, the alchemist, Woody Delaney
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