So much of enjoying Action Bronson is being able to revel in the fun he’s having. That said, Action Bronson’s debut album Mr. Wonderful is perfect 5 o’clock just finished work and the Sun’s still out music.
“Brand New Car” introduces the unfamiliar to the upbeat and offbeat rhymes and topics Bronson brings to the table with lines like: “Got upstairs and fixed eleven bowls of Crispix” and “Legs are made of stone, the back of a bridge / In goal line situations I’ll tackle The Fridge / Peace to Mike Ditka, 50 on the light fixture / Right side shifter, fight fixer, twist your sister.”
“Terry” is a personal favorite, mostly for the vibes, but also because it’s straight up hilarious with tons of great references like: “Don’t sneeze on my shit, cause for shiz I’mma flip ya / Pedicured foot slide in the slipper / Tryna do the remix with Pitbull / Tell the pilot land at Schiphol.”
Plus, “Baby Blue“, the latest single, features Chance the Rapper and has a great video to go with it paying homage to Coming to America.
Speaking of video, here’s where I mention Action Bronson was a chef in another life and you should check out his YouTube food series on Munchies, “Fuck That’s Delicious“. Munchies is the food arm of Vice Media and their YouTube channel is Food Network for the internet age; that is, it’s mostly useful and entertaining without any boundaries.
And now for something completely different… Earl Sweatshirt’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside is best listened to past 10pm and is maybe not at its absolute best ’til 2am on certain nights.
If you look back to 2013 at Earl’s first album, Doris, you’ll find some relative brightness on songs like “Sunday” ft Frank Ocean; but the roots for I Don’t are there as well in songs like “Guild” ft Mac Miller and he doubles down on those vibes. Themes of suicide, coping with death, and being generally antisocial hang over the entire album, and the beats backing each track are equally downbeat and dark.
It’s super heady emo rap, but with a wry sense that Earl is most happy doing this kind of music. It’s hard to say if Earl Sweatshirt is a better rapper now than he was before. If anything he just sounds older, more focused on creating a work he can call his own. Even if it’s incredibly moody and personal to the point of alienating potential new and casual listeners, fans of Earl should find something to like. He discusses the album, its creation in an excellent Q&A with NPR.
“Grief”, the lead single, has a creative and very trippy video, but personally, “Faucet”, “AM Radio”, and “DNA” standout as songs that find a sort of sweet spot for this kind of music.
For a nice touch Earl and Bronson did a little collaboration to commemorate dropping albums on the same day. You can listen to the Alchemist produced “Warlord Leather” here, and stream their albums along with the rest of what I’ve been listening to in 2015 below.