Release: ‘Saaab Stories’
Release Date: Out Now
Action Bronson is one of the most lyrical rappers out at the moment, weaving slang with such panache that it is elevated to poetry. He is expert at making his verses sound unusual and eloquent, his unexpected turns of phrase making every image more vivid and colourful. Where most MCs would mention a diamond pinky ring, Bronson refers to the ‘amethyst on the knuckle’. Where most rappers would talk about sex in the carefree, hedonistic way that only rappers do, Bronson goes a step further: ‘I think I crossed a line / Annual abortion time’. These twists on the usual rap clichés are what make Bronson sound so different from anyone else, and barely a line goes by in one of his verses without an eyebrow being raised or a smile being cracked at his relentless inventiveness and humour. His signature food references also maintain their charm, with culinary references ranging from lobster to crab, Mexican chilli to cans of Pellegrino. For those who never picked up his ‘Blue Chips’ or ‘Rare Chandeliers’ mixtapes (both of which are excellent), ‘Saaab Stories’ is an ideal introduction to the world of Action Bronson. At a condensed 7-track length, it’s very lean (unlike the man himself, and ironic considering how much it’s filled with talk about food) and although Bronson is the star, the EP also features totally on-point production from Harry Fraud and a couple of decent features from Wiz Khalifa, Raekwon and Prodigy. It’s not the best work that any of the featured artists have produced, but given that two of them were part of two of the most influential rap groups of all time, that would be a big ask. Getting Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang on the same track (‘Seven Series Triplets’) was probably exciting enough for Bronson, who is a true New York MC audibly influenced by the likes of Ghostface and the Chef himself. Other influences are filtering through more on this EP than on previous Bronson output, though, and tracks like ‘Alligator’ have definite trap influences which will position Action Bronson to climb a couple of places in the popularity contest of hip-hop this summer. With dates in place at festivals in Europe, HTF’s stomach is rumbling at the prospect of a full-length album (probably mostly about food) which we hope will inevitably come soon.