Action Bronson & Party Supplies – Blue Chips 2

action-bronson-blue-chips-2Action Bronson & Party Supplies – Blue Chips 2
Vice: 2013

A glimpse at the track list of Blue Chips 2 is deceiving: at 19 records deep, Action Bronson and producer Party Supplies first seem to have overindulged. To play on one of the song titles, it is concerning when any artist releases a body of work that exceeds a certain length, foreshadowing an imprecision that taints the work and hinders its achievable success and consistency. Though not always the case, a number of recent projects did not rise to their full potential because of an overpacked track list. Artists of all levels, from Asher Roth to J. Cole and Tech N9ne, encountered this issue in 2013.

Frankly, Bronsolino could not care less about the trends that plague other rappers, so it comes as no surprise that he all-together avoids such a dilemma. These 19 songs only last a mere 53 minutes, and an impressive majority of those 53 minutes are compiled of high-caliber entertainment delivered by none other than Action himself (and Supplies. No forgetting Supplies). Particularly during the opening stretch of four or five songs, a media-transcending phenomenon stomps out all possibilities of boredom. It’s not just music here: there lies a reach for something grander.

Uncommonly referred to as the “Bronson Effect,” the succession of songs blend so extensively with various facets of pop and niche culture that nothing less than a genius chemistry experiment depending on two elements could claim accountability: AB plus PS yields BC2. References include Sinbad, the psychologist Timothy Leary, Nintendo, Asics footwear, golfer Greg Norman and about a hundred others. Rarely is there a shortage of action-packed, food-scented raps backed by original, soulful beats. Together, this duo has gained the fandom and trust of thousands upon thousands of listeners, and why would they not? Few boast the same combination of sampling acuity, skillfully delivered and culturally encompassing lyrics, and enjoyable production value which rivals that of a television show. Always a descriptive artist, Bronson injects an undeniable cinematic presence into his verses.

The fantastic, Japanese-funk sampling record “The Don’s Cheek” carries an air of mafioso mentality, matched seamlessly with the power captured by the vocals: “Catch me on Venice Beach working on my base, no blonde streak/ Swimming trunk, 30K in arm’s reach/ I’m on the boat, in the water like a swan’s feet/ To show respect you kiss both sides of the Don’s cheek.” Like other Bronson projects, not much time will pass on Blue Chips 2 before some hilarious, fun-to-say line surfaces. Just in the same song, he cheats off of a Chinese kid “like a school test,” visits a handball court and compares the whiteness of his cocaine to comedian David Spade’s pale skin. If statistics that tracked the ability of a rapper to make a writer wish he/she could write “lololol” in a review existed, the former professional chef from Queens might lead the pack. Humorous and gritty lines pervade each and every song until they gradually become the same entity. Bronson’s well told mini-tales of crime life take on a position of mockery, and the resultant world the listener dives into is a positive one.

Structurally, the tape is built to move with a certain edge and quickness. The two-minute opener, “Silverado”, builds around a single verse and a tremendous loop, then “Pepe Lopez” follows with a nearly identical formula. Later, “Amadu Diablo” (which sees Supplies fabulously sampling Tracy Chapman) and “Man & The Mirror” create the same effect. These short, high-energy ‘burst songs’ also alleviate the rare moments in which Blue Chips 2 falls. Several of the features are lackluster, as Retchy P assumes the role of an obnoxious commercial in a strictly Bronson/Supplies marathon on “Flip Ya”. Even Ab-Soul offers nothing beyond forgettable, but the mistakes themselves are forgotten when the main attraction hops back on the mic.

A Blue Chips 2 television series would be as enticing as the lamb broth mentioned in “Silverado”. Bronson and Supplies are at their best when the beats are uptempo, the lyrics are quirky and all possible cultural reference are at the mercy of the emcee. In a week otherwise dominated by Eminem, the Action Bronson Show (executively produced by Party Supplies) already has us asking for an encore.

4 out of 5

16 thoughts on “Action Bronson & Party Supplies – Blue Chips 2

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  1. I didn’t even notice it until I read it again lol, nice

  2. Colm O'Mahony|

    As a stand alone record, yeah it probably is fun, but in the context of his catalog, conceptually and content wise it’s exactly the same as everything else he’s put out in the 2 years, and, to me at least, that’s the very antithesis of fun. Some of the beats are trying really hard to be fun. Tequila? Phil Collins? It’s like some neck-beard in the Vice offices had way too much input on some “Bro, it’d be sooo fuckin ironic to spit over a bunch of 80’s pop songs, the bro’s over in *hipster neighborhood x* would just lose their shit………” Anyway, I’m out of this conversation.

  3. phoning it in? this record is so much more fun than the other stuff he put out this year.

    my suggestion. you don’t need to listen to everything he puts out. don’t eat pizza every day. build up an appetite. “Then kiss my fingers. Efharisto. That was delicious.”


  5. same old typical action bronson shit. rapping well about nothing important/meaningful over modern 90s rap beats. BORING AS FUCK. cant make actual songs or do anything new.

    anoher rapper for the hipsters.

  6. Overload’s a good word for it. I’m still enjoying all the work he puts out, but I haven’t really listened to any of it as much as I did BC1.
    As a touring (and e-pen) artist, he can definitely do this. A show is limited to his best live songs, and people will enjoy having the new material to see.

    I just wish he’d spend more time on his lyrics. Create something more dense, etc.

  7. Colm O'Mahony|

    No, I appreciate his humor and his limitations as an emcee, and as I’ve said I’m a fan, but if he insists on dropping an album every few months the least he could do is try and change it up a bit. He’s just phoning it in at this stage when he’s earned himself enough leeway with his fans to be able to take a few risks without alienating anyone……….Bitching about free music, no pleasing some people (read: me).

  8. Simon Haldbo|

    Humor in hip hop is rain in my desert. I am more sick of self-centered emo-hoppers like Drake, than Action Bronson can ever make me. So for now, repetition is all right. But you have a point. Hopefully the next Bronson (with Tommy Mas) will hold jokes and references that are a little more clever.

  9. I agree to a certain extent. Lyrics and flow wise Bronson isn’t really all that interesting. I must say that not all of his material is great either – the tape with Alchemist was so-so and the Saab EP was boring. In the other hand he is doing the best with what he has so I can’t blame him. The truth is that most rappers are not that well-rounded so in the end they have 2 options – stick with what the know – then eventually people get tired of it or experiment with something new – in most cases – deep/personal lyrics, going mainstream or some type of futuristic production and fail miserably. Honestly, I prefer the first.
    That being said – it’s a fun tape.

  10. Colm O'Mahony|

    The same way I like pizza but if I ate it every day I’d be fed up of it and need to take a break from it for a while. Nahmeen dun?

  11. “This pee pee will make you poo poo a lot”

  12. its called “playing it safe”

  13. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan, but I’m shit sick of Action Bronson? what?

  14. the yungest homie|

    nice eminem pun at the very end, i chuckled

  15. Colm O'Mahony|

    Am I the only person who’s shit sick of Action Bronson? 3 albums a year, the exact same rhymes every time – Weed reference / obscure athlete / It’s me / lamb cutlets and prostitutes / gymnastics X vehicle/ more weed / wrestling / Bam-bam / non-squitur, lather, rinse, repeat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan, but anyone as ubiquitous as Bronson is going to get tedious, especially if they don’t change it up even slightly.

  16. bore balboa|

    nice review

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