Action Bronson: School Of Culinary Arts

Queens-bred Action Bronson feeds your head with real Rap cuisines, and they're all lyrical delicacies.

While Eminem, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West remain Rap superstars, the last two years of Hip Hop have welcomed some new blood to the conversation. Artists like Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Nicki Minaj have released major label debut albums, and conquered the charts, the radio and become household names. Others are patiently waiting, and releasing project after project on independent labels, still to be labeled "new artists."

For the second consecutive year, HipHopDX wanted to acknowledge five of these hard working, super talented new artists, that in actuality, aren't so new at all. Some have major label backing now, others remain in the underground grind. While Hip Hop continuously (and rightfully so) celebrates freshmen talent, DX opted to knight five hand-selected emcees, chosen by members of our editorial staff, that we want to be looked at as great artists, nothing new about it.

From June 4 through June 8, 2012 HipHopDX will post these celebratory editorial pieces each day, unveiling our mystery picks. Do you agree with the choices? Do you agree that they're beyond the "new artist" stigma? Weigh in.

Action Bronson: School Of Culinary Arts

The Rap game is changing. Strike that. The Rap game has changed. We’re living in an era where the wealthy rappers are living lavishly (to the extreme), and directly on the opposite end of the spectrum lies the D.I.Y. Blue Collar rappers out to make a buck and put it right back into their careers. It’s a weird time, but it’s allowing for the guards to finally change. The big dogs up top are sipping champagne while the rat race below are organizing what the next generation will look like. Physically, Action Bronson looks like none of these dudes. Sonically, he sounds like some, by stylistically he’s in a class by himself.

When I recall the days of Wu-Tang Clan, I always think about Ghostface Killah’s cult. His following is/was pretty intense. They were compartmentalized by albums (the Supreme Clientele kids vs. The Pretty Toney kids, etc.) and they all looked like a bunch of Rap-crazed zealots to me. Me? My favorite member of Wu-Tang Clan is Masta Killa. Don’t ask me why, but I always felt like his lyrics hit the hardest because they weren’t overexposed. I understand the logic of the Ghostface cult followers, but yeah, Masta Killa remains my favorite. The reason why I even bring that up is because Action Bronson reminds me so much of Ghostface sometimes, yet I have turned into the Ghostface-level of fan with Bronson. Their vocal similarities are uncanny, complete with sarcastically arrogant punchlines. However, Action Bronson is also bringing a brand new energy to Hip Hop – one that is moving him up the ranks rather quickly – and for that I am thankful.

I remember the first song of Bronson’s that really caught me. It was the Party Supplies-produced cut “Tapas.” [off Blue Chips] There were a few others prior that hit me, but this was the song that made me think, “Wow, I think I’m seriously becoming a fan.” You see, working the music shift at DX, you’re exposed to a variety of dope music, but to call yourself a fan of all of it is seriously false. This Queens native captured my ears with his delivery. He’s so incredibly descriptive that you have to blink twice at some of the things he says. In a world where most rappers are saying nothing, Bronson is making up for the difference by saying tons.

After “Tapas” I circled back to listen to Bronson’s debut album Dr. Lecter. It was hard to imagine this was his first album by the level of lyricism Bronson delivered on this project. So then I traveled further back and listened to The Program EP and then his mixtape Bon Appetit…Bitch and heard the level of growth in his rhymes in just a little over a year. Here’s a guy who has a legitimate day job (scratch that – it’s a career), but aims to make Rap his full-time hustle. It’s evident by how much he tries to better himself with each new release. Sure he has some stock subject matter, but it’s processed and delivered in a brand new way each time he spits. Not a lot of rappers can say the same for themselves.

“We've been the best since I stepped in / Bring a hooker to the muthafuckin Jets Inn / In the sack, break her back like a Redskin / Need the dough like I'm trying to get the bread thin / Tree to make the head spin / Every season play the corner like I'm Revis / Light Caesar, heavy bearded like I'm Jesus.” – “Shiraz”

Then, of course, there are the food references. I’m allergic to almost everything, so I can’t call myself a foodie (plus I think that word is for douchebags and the morbidly obese). However, I can appreciate some high quality eats, and the lines Bronson drops about food are just amazing. The fact that he’s also a Chef (and slightly resembles Mario Batali) is the icing on Bronson’s buttercream cake. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s cool to me that in a world of name-droppers in Rap, Bronson drops food names. Most rappers walk around talking about expensive cars and clothes; Bronson on the other hand is waxing philosophical about foie gras (if you don’t know what that is, look it up). Some of the things he name checks like black truffles are way more expensive than the pair of True Religion jeans Y.C. and Future brag about on “Racks On Racks.” He travels back and forth from stuff like tacos and jerky to delicacies like lamb brains (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it) and robiola (that’s a type of cheese, guys). It’s a level of sophistication that many rappers tend to ignore. Even in “Paris,” Kanye is like, “What she order? Fish Filet?” (Ye, that’s not expensive food). Bronson could give your favorite rappers a lesson or three on what fine dining really means. The site FoodRepublic listed all a bunch of Bronson’s food references. It’s worth checking out.

Action Bronson’s aesthetic is also awesome to me. He walks around wearing Crocs (so does Batali by the way) and shorts, with like, a walking stick. Who does that? He does. He’s not the slimmest dude (he loves eating after all), and has a long ginger beard, but his swagger is dare I say…sexy? (ready for the flack with that one) It’s obvious though that Bronson doesn’t give a fuck what people think. He’s in on the joke when it comes to his style and I love that. Leopard print fur hats, gigantic t-shirts and pictures of himself eating…he really doesn’t care. My favorite picture of Bronson though is the one that looks like an old school class photo (with the laser beamed background) where he has a sweater tied around his neck and he’s wearing a tank top. It’s just hilarious. Bronson also frequently walks around topless letting his titties hang (shout out to Rick Ross), so that’s a middle finger to all of the haters doing extra sit-ups.

Allow me to also address the elephant in the room. Yes, Bronson’s rhymes are a bit, shall we say, misogynistic. He’s not the kindest to women in his rhymes (I’ll leave it at that). So why is a woman sitting here carrying on about how great he is? Well, unfortunately a lot of rap is misogynistic, so as long as Action Bronson is making me laugh, I can’t really complain.

Okay, so I have spent the past 1000-plus words resurrecting a shrine in Action Bronson’s honor. What does that really mean, and why should he graduate to the next level of Hip-Hophood? Well, he’s earned it. His Lil Wayne level of work ethic has led him to drop over five projects in two years (and he has three more in the cooker). He’s clearly on  a mission whether you choose to accept it or not. Perhaps that’s why he is also a graduate. The more frequent the release, the more promo he gets, the better he sounds and the further forward he’s pushed. Some of our favorite Rap veterans used to drop one project every three years. If that’s the case then Bronson technically has a 15-year career packed into two. Chew on that.

RELATED: HipHopDX's 2012 Graduating Class: Kendrick Lamar

HipHopDX's 2011 Graduating Class: REKS, Fashawn, Vado, Curren$y and Freddie Gibbs.

Purchase Music by Action Bronson

Kathy Iandoli is HipHopDX's Music Editor. She is a New Jersey native who has contributed to The Source, VIBE, XXL, MSN Music, Village Voice, AOL, MTV and others. She has been an editor at HipHopDX since 2009. Follow her on Twitter @Kath3000.

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52 Comments

  • jhon

    Thanks a lot, Action Bronson: School Of Culinary Arts article give us great information. we will be again, thanks

  • mdkeren2

    BELOW on every new video article and basically any new piece of content

  • pienman

    i listened to the homie's "blue chips" mixtape & waz like THIS DUDE IS NICE... i could put the 2getha until u mentioned his ghostface referral to... his style telling is similar to him

  • Anon

    I really don't fully understand all the hate towards Bronson. I am split on people hating because he is white; apparently racism is ok when directed towards white people. But look at Hip Hop history, where would the art be without Rick Rubin or the Beastie Boys along with a slew of other rappers and producers. Hip Hop is a culture not a race. The other half of me thinks it might just be people dismissing him because they haven't actually listened to him or immediately dismiss him because he sounds like Ghostface (which is a diminishing fact with time and repeat listens). Check out "Meteor Hammer" from Wu-Tang's Legendary Weapons. Bronson's music is funny and engaging. He is an MC with a ton of personality which alone puts him heads above many others; there are far too many people saying the same thing, with the same flow, over the same beats. But then you add in an incredible ear for beats (often an update on a classic East Coast sound) and an ever growing lyrical prowess you have someone very deserving of the recognition. What do people even bother with the negativity? Hate is a waste of time; if you're that angry see a shrink, don't troll message boards.

  • Sebz

    Do not understand this hate.. Action Bronson, Meyhem Lauren etc are bringing New York back to lyricism, flow and wit.. I'm excited by some of these 'new' cats in the game and no matter what, they're gonna have fans (true rap fans who kno wat time it is). Wat does the mans weight have to do with anything either, when has that ever mattered in rap?..

  • Z Pops

    Honestly has there ever been a more divisive artist in hip hop? He really defines the cliche "You either hate him or love him" I personally enjoy AB...a lot. A lot of the haters just can't get passed (somewhat understandably) either his appearance, his misogyny, or his voice. If you have half a decent ear for hip hop you can easily tell Bronson from Ghost. Their timbres (99% of people who read this will need to look that term up) are similar, but their deliveries are not. AB's delivery is way more akin to Kool G Rap than Ghostface. Anyone else agree?

  • Anonymous

    BRAIN DAMAGED OBESE RETARD I CAN'T BELIEVE WHITE FOLKS FIND THIS SHIT 'AMUSING' I HOPE HE SHOWS MORE DISCRETION IN THE KITCHEN THAN HE DOES IN RAP BECAUSE HIS MUSICAL OUTPUT IS STRAIGHT GARBAGE STATIK SELEKTAH IS MAYBE THEE WORST FAT WHITE PRODUCER OF THEM ALL AND OF COURSE BRONSTEIN DID AN ALBUM WITH HIM

  • Anonymous

    I CAN'T SEE MY FEET!!!

  • Brizz

    Article kind of sucked actually...my problem with bronson is that he dont seem to really take his time with his projects and let the slow cook for a while. Dont get me wrong, i think hes dope but 5 projects should have been 2-3 solid ones instead. Pz.

  • JC

    Props to Bronson, one of the few newer rappers dropping dope lyrics Shame on you haters, can't understand them. I ask them this - which newer rappers do you bump over this guy???? Can't really knock an MC who is focusing on raw lyrics and no gimmicks...but wait, most new skool fans don't go for that anyway. Shame

  • Acesun

    If you some of you doubting dukes skills, were to not see him and heard any of his tracks you would swear it was Ghost Face. AB get's it in though, don't sleep.

  • Anonymous

    RETARD MUSIC FOR RETARD PEOPLE; IF THIS IS WHAT AMUSES YOU IN EITHER MUSIC OR COMEDY YOU MIGHT AS EAT AT MCDONALD'S EVERYDAY. FUCKING WHITE PEOPLE!!

  • Shocked

    did this guy kill yalls families or something? the level of dedication of people hating on bronson is quite amazing. this guy is barely on the radar, its not that hard to simply ignore him if you dont like him

  • PARIS

    WHITE RICK ROSS ? WHAT DA FUCK ??? YO MAN "nigga" get skinny

  • Anonymous

    reverbnation. com/bochamp

  • Anonymous

    www.reverbnation.com/bochamp www.soundclick.com/bochamp

  • Antonio R

    Lovely write up. Such insolence in the comments. Ghost had him on a track. Raekwon has glowingly co-signed the kid and had Action open for him. If Rae gets it and you don't, what does that say about your taste?

  • Anonymous

    http://www.thissongslaps.com/2012/06/x-o-orange-soda-video

  • Kones

    FYI, regarding your comment on Kanye's line "What she order? Fish filet?" The point Kanye was making is the same point you are making - that fish filet isn't expensive, that the woman he's speaking about obviously isn't used to the level of decadence that Ye lives in, hence the line that follows "Your whip so cold" "This old thing?" Just wanted to set you straight on that, with all respect. Peace.

  • Jadams12

    can't believe people giving him a pass saying they can just tell the difference between him and ghost too.I find his copycat voice and rap style very lame cause it's identical to GFK. He's aaight tho. I just think they were better cats out today with more Heat than action Bronson.

  • Tiger Style

    Great article. Thanks for writing about Action Bronson, been a fan since I first heard him on Wu-Tang's "Meteor Hammer." Then I went and checked out his work, and now, I'm a huge fan. Dude puts in work!

  • Jadams12

    SMH @ DX. No where near the artist of Kendrick Lamar. I was expecting maybe KRIT

  • BartonKimberly

    as Jerry implied I'm stunned that a student able to get paid $9631 in one month on the internet. did you read this link(Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/DvWPw

  • Daz

    Once you get into his music...you almost forget he sounds like ghost lol dope artist

  • @Smeezef

    Got the chance to see dude perform here in Philly on 5/22. It was a really good time. I like him even though he sounds too much like Ghost, but hey, if Ghost co-sign..... whatever.

    • Tiger Style

      I think the "Ghost co-sign" is that he is featured on the Wu-Tang song "Meteor Hammer," From the album Legendary Weapons. Ghost, Action Bronson, & Termanology.

    • fat lady sings

      what ghost co-sign? ghost put joell ortiz on 'apollo kids' and it was the worst fucking verse there PLUS they weren't even in the studio together. and the Bronson song that's even 1/1000th "Mighty Healthy" or "Run" or Ghost's verse on "Cold Outside" (from OB4CL2) is what exactly?

  • Jax

    Lawl is this just the same troll responding to everyone? Not all raps need to be deep - Biz Markie, a lot of early Eminem, Beastie Boys, MF Doom - just to name a few. Doom is the king of "bullshit non-sequitor jokes", as someone said earlier. If you don't like it, go bump some Drake or something.

    • J-Rock

      One of the best MC's out? You must be smoking Walter White's Crystal Meth. That gelatinous fuck has zero lyricism. All he has is his whiteness and cankles. That's it.

    • Anonymous

      its Action Bronson's wordplay, flow and mic cadence that makes him 1 of the best MC's out right now along with Roc Marciano and Timeless Truth

    • Anonymous

      i've said we asked for the white Doom and got fucking Biz Markie instead... except not even THAT good, forget, say, Chubb Rock. Doom, like Ghost, has a wide range of reference than Bronson. Non-sequitors are cool but Bronson's are so fucking limited: one part sports talk, one part 'Gourmet' (admitted this is new to hip-hop), one part weed (BORING), one part dick-talk sexism (BORING and dumb).

  • internet gangstar

    yall hating on bronson dudes nice with the lyrics real recognize real yall just some fake haters talking about dudes weight making cheap shots lisa lamanelli looking asses ...sheep asses cant handle when someone says something new or does something new

    • Jay-rock

      The big difference is that Raekwon and Redman are dope. Action Bronson aka MC Cankles is an overrated ginger d*ckhead who is dripping with white rapper privilege. Not everything has to be conscious, you're right, but it has to be smart and lyrical. Cankles fails on both fronts. He sucks and so do you.

    • JAy

      HOw bout when Raekwon says a bunch of random shit in his verses? Or Redman? Or fuckin das efx and nice and smooth.... or Currensy for that matter. Not EVERYTHING has to be on some conscious shit just look at biggie pun and G Rap (not saying bronson is as good) but he is one of the best most consistent rappers right now.If u think dr lecter, well done, and blue chips are wack u need to re evaluate what kinda hip hop u listen to.

    • Anonymous

      oh yeah quote me even ONE nice Bronson VERSE not just a string of bullshit non-sequitor jokes; maybe if this dude read books or poetry instead of listening to WFAN and jerking off on twitter he'd have something to 'say.' FACT: Bronson shows as little discretion or self-control in his bullshit lyrics as he does eating and smoking, which is to say NONE. just because he won't shut the fuck up doesn't make him 'lyrical.'

  • Anonymous

    the same culture that produced LL, Big Daddy Kane, Beasties, KRS-One, Biggie, PE, Ice Cube etc... ... also produced this retarded, sexist, brain damaged sack of shit? white people should be embarrassed, black folks should run!!

  • dboiii

    wtf is this foo doin on the same list as kendrick???? smh at dx for this one...hopefully tomorrow a better pick

  • firealarm

    I honestly think the people talking shit and making jokes haven't REALLY listened to Action Bronson. You can't act like the guy is completely wack with no talent if you've actually listened to his music. He has a great ear for beats and is lyrically beyond 80% of the rap game right now.

    • Anonymous

      i've listened to Bronson since the beginning and there's nothing there. yes, he's exuberant and has a sense of humor but it's SO limited, SO cornball the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th time around... ... is there ANY depth to this guy? has he written a verse he won't release? by the time of his next album, he'll have more verses out than Biggie, Big L and Big Pun COMBINED!!! and Big Daddy Kane isn't far behind, except of course he's light years beyond anything Bronson has even hinted at. he might be a decent cook, that's cool, respectable, in the wide world of music i can't believe ya'll don't ask for A LOT more. and for comedy how about listening to Richard Pryor again?

  • Anonymous

    I CAN'T SEE MY FEET

  • Juggalo Aunts

    Indiscriminate steroid abuse rap, wow!! Notice how small Bronson's hands compared to the rest of his body? Might work in the kitchen, is fucking meanlingless in ART (poetry/lyrics + music). Unless you're a recovering steroid addict, retarded obese stoner yourself, his music is utter dogshit. Anyone who thinks he's 'lyrical' must be goddamn illiterate themselves.

  • Utopia Porkway

    Nonsense. Bronstein has enthusiasm (and lack of self-discipline) and and that's it: the rest is repetitive, whining food, sports and weed jokes with more than a "drizzle" of dipshit sexism. The next hot Bronstein verse will be his first, just like there are no truly hot Bronstein songs. The production is mostly dogshit also: thanks Statik! That anyone could be amused by this retard for more than 10 seconds at a time is fucking pathetic; ya'll REALLY need to listen to more types of music than crap.

  • JOE G.

    Lately I've been skeptical about these new rappers but as a lover a Hip Hop, I give some a chance off the strength that if I don't I might miss out on some dope..a lot of them are trash..some are nice..I tried bumping Dr. Lecter but 2 songs in I had to dead it cuz dude sound too much like Starks and it was blasphemous to my ears..he could be nice and all that but Ghost is royalty/legendary and we all know how he feel about "Shark Biterz"..dude gets no co-sign from me

  • Dee

    Ugh. Action Bronson is a fat fingered piece of shit.

  • Z

    Bronson is an OG. Dr Lecter is a classic.

    • Anonymous

      "OG" what? Obese grifter? I hope he pays his child support (I can't believe he was allowed to breed but that's another story) better than pays back the European promoters stupid enough to book his bloated, brain damaged ass.

  • yeah boiiii

    Very deserving.

    • Anonymous

      deserving of a barrel of olive oil enema, maybe, and even that wouldn't clean out this asswipes clogged arteries and dead brain cells.

  • mike

    my nigga bronson go hard hoe

    • Anonymous

      the only 'classic' move this obese garbage-breath-control moron (thanks white people) will have is when he has a heart attack on stage... ... though i'll admit I CAN'T SEE MY FEET is a pretty funny album title.