Action Bronson Is Back With Jovial New Album ‘Blue Chips 7000’
Back with his third installment of the “Blue Chips” series, Queens rapper Action Bronson just dropped “Blue Chips 7000,” a journey through comedy, food and self-love. While the first two records saw production work from Brooklyn electronic duo Party Supplies, this time around Bronson re-recruited Harry Fraud, whom he previously worked with on 2013’s “Saaab Stories.” In 2015, Bam Bam, a.k.a. Bronsoliño, a.k.a. Mr. Baklava, released the widely adored “Mr. Wonderful,” a full-length which further solidified the rapper’s place among die-hard hip-hop fanatics. With his mid-90s East Coast stylings, Bronson has managed to elevate the creativity for his latest project.
“Blue Chips 7000” opens with a recording of himself and his mother, high as a kite. As a proud and relentless marijuana smoker, it’s only fitting that this be the case. “Wolfpack” features Latin piano and horns amongst a subtle backbeat and wolf howls, ending the song with Bronson calling his new album “My Blue Heaven.” This charming voyage continues with “La Luna,” where a skit once again kicks off the song, finding Bam Bam rapping over the hold-music during a phone call. His comedy chops linger on the third track and lead single “The Chairman’s Intent.” The video for it is like a satirical super cut of 70s action movie clichés. Lyrically, like all his tracks, this one references his many obsessions such as a succulent cooked duck, Cadillacs and spiritual healing through comedy. Bronson has been long known for his comedic prowess. From his hosting duties on Viceland’s “Fuck, That’s Delicious” and “Traveling the Stars: Action Bronson and Friends Watch ‘Ancient Aliens’” — where the rapper sits down with friends like Tyler, the Creator to smoke copious amounts of weed and watch episodes of the History Channel’s popular program — he’s no stranger to eliciting laughs. In fact, his live performances are always something to behold. At festivals, he’s been known to leave stage with a mic in hand, taking golf cart rides around the grounds or even once stepping into a port-a-potty during a rendition of “It Concerns Me.” He’s tossed an X-Box, 44-inch flatscreen and giant nugs of weed into the crowd during Christmas and even punished a fan who threw a lit cigarette at him by bringing him on stage and making him sit in the corner for three songs.
Bronson’s unabashed love for his fans — and himself — has always been a staple of his music. “Mr. Wonderful” finds lines like “I know you can see me on the TV, lookin’ like a hunk of beef” and “I was wearing all white, and my hair was looking precious.” This time around, on the Rick Ross featured “9-24-7000,” he calls himself a “smooth mover” before the opening bar “Yo if I didn’t say it’s me you would probably think it’s Sting.” This is classic self-satirical humor from Bronson — he later compares himself to Kevin Spacey. This tune feels nostalgic, á la The Police circa early 80s (hence the reference), with glittery piano and faded synths. Old feels continue on another single, “Let Me Breathe,” featuring a sample from Everlast’s “The White Boy is Back.” Like “The Chairman’s Intent,” this video is as hysterical as it is creative. Here, men of polar opposite worlds come together to compete for the love of a seven-foot-plus tall woman. “It’s like a mountain you just want to climb,” says one man in a denim vest and ponytail.
His crew also appears throughout the album. Big Body Bes and Meyhem Lauren, Bronson’s obvious BFF’s as noted in “Fuck, That’s Delicious” where the three often travel the world as a group eating delicious food, find themselves on a few tracks. The Wu-Tang-esque “Durag vs. Headband” features Big Body taking over the minimal chorus, “When I die, make sure to spread my blood on a BMW.” “Hot Pepper” finds Lauren and Bam Bam trading verses in Jamaica. The song was recorded during an episode of their Viceland show when the two spontaneously popped into a local studio after meeting Jamaican singer Jah Tiger.
This is just another example in a long line of impulsive artistry by a man who oozes imagination. And “Blue Chips 7000” is just another case of an Action Bronson album full of delight. In fact, the most impressive thing about him as an artist is his effortless ability to delight and enthrall his audience, be it on stage, on screen or in your headphones.
“Blue Chips 7000” is available Aug. 25 on Apple Music.