Action Bronson teams up with another hardworking beatmaker, Party Supplies, to drop a rather consistent collection of songs for fans in “Blue Chips.” Bronsalino regulars will definitely gobble this up without caution, but those hoping to find something off the beaten path should steer clear. It’s more of the same.
Most people are at least aware of the Albanian Queens native for the rabble surrounding his delivery and flow. It’s similar to Ghostface Killah’s style of rapping, and if there exists one cardinal rule within the uber-traditional and conservative confines of hip hop, that rule would be to never enjoy other sounds.
Of course this rule has no real point, as well as that rabble. Bronson wears his influence on his sleeve, but only as an emblem and not an “all-access pass” of approval.
His solid lyrical technicality stands firm regardless of comparison, and no one can blame the guy for having a similarly high-pitched voice. He subscribes to the school of grime-covered 90s rap but employs a classy and cartoonish tinge, resulting in wordplay about snorting coke off of hooker’s toes, canolis, Magic Johnson’s dick (yes, really), baclava, and a garrulous amount of misogyny. These increasingly off-color topics make up the fabric of “Blue Chips” in a very frank fashion: he wrote the lines and just delivers them like a morning report, but the content leaves an abrasive and dirty taste.
It can also be a guilty pleasure for some. Listening to this mixtape feels like sticking your hand into a trash can full of Hustlers, heroin, lamb brain, and used condoms as a fat redhead stands next to it while smoking a blunt. Some will dig it alot, others want nothing to do other than let it go hard in the recycling bin.
I mainly fall in the latter category. Bronson honestly has a good thing going in terms of skills and a trained ear for beats, and certain songs like “5 Minute Beats 1 Take Raps” prove him as a competent freestyler. The first track, “Pouches of Tuna,” sets a really great scene for a day in his shoes, as he flows effortlessly over a stately violin loop: “Under the influence of fly shit, I glide like Ovechkin/disqus hoodie, puff hibiscus, balance be the crispest.”
The song is unapologetically Bronson, but does not force his wants and desire down the listener’s throat, like “Thug Love Story 2012” or “Hookers At The Point,” both of which would be extremely uncomfortable to rap at his concerts, let alone in the car. The tape starts out decent but just gets too indulgent. And hearing his squealing, monotone flow for longer than 30 minutes makes the technicality wear thin. These tidbits ultimately kill the experience for me.
Yet, once again, anybody who stumbled onto his roughneck raps before this release has nothing to worry about. In fact, If they enjoyed “Well Done” or his collabs with Meyhem Lauren, the only reason to sit through “Blue Chips” would be for Kool AD’s absurdly stellar verse on “Arts & Leisure” and nothing more.