Action Bronson thinks his Blue Chips series is the best—not his best, the best. “Blue Chips is the reason I am where I am right now. The new one is ten times better than the first one, which is crazy. Blue Chips 1 and Blue Chips 2, you can put that shit up against anything in hip hop history, and I don’t give a fuck what anyone has to say.”
That type of brash, unapologetic outlook has become known as Action Bronson’s signature attitude, and the way he’s incorporated it into his music has earned him a high level of critical acclaim in recent years. He’s carved out a distinct, distorted niche that he successfully operates within alone, and it’s brought him admirers from the Internet to Hollywood.
With Blue Chips 2, Bronson’s perspective has only expanded. The project’s announcement trailer was a mock scenario that featured Bronson fixing Game 7 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals that the New York Knicks infamously lost because of a missed lay-up by Patrick Ewing. “As a child, I watched that and cried.” Now he’s bringing those past influences, and a bevy of new ones, into his art without compromise.
“It’s out there, man. We’re just tapping into different parts of the brain Just tapping into every fucking feeling. Everything that I see. I’m not missing a beat at this point. I’m in the zone where I’m not spitting wack shit. My whole career has been straight up consistency,” he says.
Consistency doesn’t mean predictability. In between bugged out lyrics about skiing in Belize and exploits with a Nevada nurse, Blue Chips 2 offers Party Supplies instrumentals that switch from a sample of Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” to John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Jack & Diane” in a matter of seconds. As a team, they’re impulsive, and determined to break the mold of what’s considered acceptable in hip-hop. “It’s all about keeping it interesting. Because you’ve heard a lot of words rhyme before already. You’ve pretty much got to reinvent the language,” Bronson explains.
Part of the reason Action Bronson succeeds in keeping Blue Chips 2 interesting is the life experiences he’s had in the year and a half since the original. If the first Blue Chips was sponsored by weed and wild Japanese songs, this one is sponsored by “pure oil and a lot of travel and a lot of fucking.” That’s why, no matter how much Bronson’s Queens background defines him, he insists that “this is so much bigger than just New York.” He shares stories of writing songs in Paris, Australia, Toronto, and random states across America. “This is fucking global. This ain’t New York. This ain’t about one place.”
Although Bronson’s emphatic about the unique inspiration behind the record, he’s even more vehement about its actual content. “When you hear these fucking beats, this is next. This is not what anybody else is doing. Nobody sounds like this. Motherfuckers are too stuck in some one shit. This is how you fucking build a fucking legend. You do ill shit, people love it, and they’re fucking constantly talking about it forever. The smart motherfuckers stay around.” Point taken.
So, when you hear Blue Chips 2 and grab your head in disbelief because you can’t believe Action Bronson rhymed “cold shits in the toilet” with “turkey sandwich in aluminum foil,” just know that was his intent. “There’s no limits to what we’re doing over here, so I don’t know why anyone tries to cap it. Me and Party Supplies take it to where you wish you could take it, but you didn’t think of it. We did. You didn’t execute it. We did.”
Ernest Baker is a writer living in Los Angeles. He's on Twitter - @ernestbaker
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