Action Bronson is no longer simply the heavy-set rapper from Queens. Over the last few years he has built somewhat of a cultural empire, dipping his toes into the world of television, craft beers, cookbooks and vaporisers. All of these exploits draw on his jubilant and compelling energy, producing an adoring fan base as a result.
With so much on his plate, his latest exploit ‘White Bronco’ feels a little distracted. Whereas his debut LP ‘Mr. Wonderful’ was a succinct body of work, 'White Bronco' has its moments but falls short of convincing as a complete project. Admittedly, the same could be said of his 2017 project, ‘Blue Chips 7000’.
Despite this, there are still moments to savour that pull on some of the other worldly, quasi-mobster imagery that we have come to love from the Albanian-New Yorker’s projects. He is still rare “like a white deer” and still struts smooth with his “alligator pimp cane”. Lyrically, he has perhaps become a little lazier with his approach, yet it’s difficult not to embrace his serpentine guise on the mic.
Comedic tales are laced throughout, from catching a “DUI coming out the Trey Songz concert” to sending rivals on a “hundred-yard tumble” from a single punch to the chest. Bronson maintains a classic mixtape feel to his work, editing rare clips that only a hazy stoner could source amidst a deep YouTube trawl in the early hours of the morning.
As displayed on ‘Mr. Wonderful’, Bronson has become increasingly at home over a dusty jazz instrumental, no more so than title track ‘White Bronco’, which flaunts his rare ability to produce hits without a hook. Equally, both ‘Dr. Kimble’ and ‘Prince Charming’ show Bronson at his best.
Yet there are uncharacteristic throwaway tracks dotted throughout the album. No more so than departing track ‘Swerve on Em’ featuring a seemingly unnecessary verse from A$AP Rocky that brings the project to a jarring close.
Although not his greatest work, ‘White Bronco’ has plenty to offer to keep the people happy. But for those who prefer his bars to his books or beers, more is needed.
Yet there is no doubt, Bronson will be back bolder than ever.
Words: Angus McKeon
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