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Review: Action Bronson Returns to Sample-Based Tunes on Final ‘Blue Chips’

Review: Action Bronson Returns to Sample-Based Tunes on Final ‘Blue Chips’
 

Action Bronson’s major-label debut, 2015’s Mr.Wonderful, didn’t make him a rap superstar, but he became fairly famous anyway thanks to his foul-mouthed Viceland food travelogue F*ck That’sDelicious. Without the need for a hit record to keep his pockets satiated,Bronson can go back to the freewheeling model of the Blue Chips mixtapesthat helped his initial rise: off-kilter punchlines, giddy dirtbaggery andbeats chopped from kitschy, quirky samples. Here, producers like Party Supplies(who did the last two Blue Chips) and Harry Fraud make funky work out ofAustrian jazz-rock, Nigerian highlife, Thai funk and Italian lounge-grooverecords. Most hilarious is an Alchemist production made to sound like Bronsonis rapping to the hold music from a taxi service. Working with a major labelthat clears samples is probably why Bronson and crew have opted out of some ofthe more audacious selections (Blue Chips 2 had him spitting overElton John, Peter Gabriel and “Tequila”), but a banquet of loop-basedproduction still hits those old-school notes even without the postmoderntwist. For his part, Bronson is still acrobatic with a bar (“Now I’mnestled in the Tesla eatin pretzels”) and still dabbles in the occasional sportsreference (“Two pumps from the inhaler got me feeling like Lawrence Taylor”).

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