Action Bronson Serves Up Wacky And Wonderful Beats On ‘Blue Chips 7000’

Written by Jack Andrew Cribb

“Just tell me how high you are?”

Other words would not do justice as an album opener for Action Bronson’s latest project, Blue Chips 7000, the third installment of his ‘Blue Chips’ series. They exude the introspection and swagger that Bronson excels at. Overall, it is Bronson’s flamboyance that keeps us returning to his music, with the niche he has carved out for himself, being a basketball shorts-wearing, beard-adorning, ex-chef who now raps about everything from cooking steaks, how his stomach resembles that of a buddha, to his passion for smoking the green. We see him on Viceland walking through the Bronx, ordering prosciutto and drinking champagne as if his whole life is an episode of ‘Fuck, That’s Delicious’. Blue Chips 7000 is no exception to this bombastic personality cult Bronson has built around him.

Blue Chips 7000 is the first in the series to not be produced by Party Supplies, who supplied a frantic approach to beat-making, which is a sound that has been carried on within this project. We are given Bronson easily rapping over 70’s groove, recumbent in his confidence when speaking about his life, a life which is seemingly as interesting off the camera as it is on. 7000 begins with Wolfpack, starting off which Bronson conversing with his mother about how high she is, carrying on to give the classic rap-intro story about success in various arenas of his life. While fitting to that stereotype, the song is funny, funky, and fun to listen to. Immediately after this, another recorded conversation of Bronson can be heard, trying to order a luxury car, who then notices the hold music coming from the phone and stating “I could rhyme on this”. And he does, beginning the second track, La Luna, a organ-thick sample beat which Bronson creates as an almost behind-the-scenes piece, as if rapping is his hobby, rather than his profession.

Credit: Action Bronson

The real star of the show is the production on this record, which are frenetic and incredibly groovy, but none of which sound alike. The team behind these beats consist of The Alchemist, Daringer, Harry Fraud, Knxwledge, and Party Supplies, and through this mixture we can see why the epithet of ‘mixtape’ is more appropriate than that of ‘album’ for 7000Let It Rain sounds like an evening in a seedy 1970’s cinema, TANK feat. Big Body Bes jumps around in an homage to 80’s downbeat pop-funk (and goes pretty hard). It is this eclectic nature of 7000; the beats, the variety of samples used (for example, a hook from Jah Tiger, and a Bob Ross appearing on 9-24-7000), and Bronson’s own brand of high-octane lyricisms, that keeps it interesting.

Blue Chips 7000 represents some of the most surreal of Bronson’s lyrics, which sometimes seem too random to be concrete thoughts, rather disparate images studded with rhymes that allow them to sit over the melodies. In The Choreographer we have bars such as “I might hang off the side of the mountain to trim a bonsai/Perfect 10 on the swan dive.”, in The Chairman’s Intent “Two pumps from the inhaler got me feeling like Lawrence Taylor/ Two kisses on the cheek for my tailor/ I got the soul of an Amazon healer”. It’s wonderfully creative and sometimes a little bit over-the-top, but after years of listening to Bronson’s tracks, we just have to accept that lyrical flamboyance as his voice. These images Bronson creates inevitable mash perfectly with the soulful soup that is what you can call the overall funk of this album.

Credit: Action Bronson

Contrary to a lot of rap out recently, this album feels old-school, with the most modern sounding track being Let Me Breathe (whose video is a wacky as Bronson is), which actually sounds a little out of place when listening to Blue Chips 7000 as a whole. The project is some of his strongest work to date, bouncing from one era of music to another, while recounting all of Bronson’s worldly experiences, evidently to the adulation and adoration of many fans who can’t decide whether they like him for his music or his persona.

Credit: Action Bronson

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