Whatever you say about Bronson and his music, you cannot discount his taste for instrumentation; the way he cooks his classic hip hop with new flavours, and seasons his tracks with soothing jazz makes him incredibly versatile. On ‘White Bronco’, another nod towards his passion for horses, he continues to adapt his sound and take us on a hazy journey through stories of his recent loves and hobbies.
Sampling neighing horses, twangy guitar riffs and jazz drumming, album opener ‘Dr. Kimble’ possesses a natural swagger that Bronson attained from the very beginning of his career. It is reassuring to know that not a lot has changed in this sense, and it sets the narrative up for the rest of the album’s proceedings. There is a clear MF Doom influence in the way Bronson tells his tales, the sample on ‘Mr. Etna’ of a Man and woman trying to lure Bronson towards his psychedelic and cannabis tendencies is subtly done, and reminds me of the way Doom narrates his stories of villainy on albums like ‘Mm… Food’.
There is an incredible feature list on this LP, and they all add to the authenticity, ignoring the current industry trends of trap and mumble rap. Instead, Action prefers scintillating sax breaks in tunes like ‘Live From The Moon’ (featuring Yung Mehico) and lead single ‘White Bronco’. The production glistens and gleams below Bronson’s nasally flow - Knxwledge and Harry Freud are just a couple of the names who added their flare to the NYC Rapper’s portfolio; ‘Prince Charming’ is especially amazing - where Bronson spits digs at celebrities by comparing ‘sports cars’ to ‘coffins’. The backing vocalists add that extra soul the album needs to take it up amongst some of the best we have had this year.
‘Picasso’s Ear’ is another favourite of mine, it barely reaches the 2 minute mark but his remarkable honesty on issues with drugs are worrying to hear as a fan, especially given the recent death of his closest friends - Mac Miller. ‘Don’t wanna drink, don’t wanna smoke, don’t wanna smoke no more… are you fucking stupid? I wanna do all that shit’ explains Action in a nauseous, psychedelic manner. ‘Swerve on Em’ is an unbelievable way to close the record. A$AP Rocky delivers one of his hardest verses of the year, helping his New York compatriot to conclude an almost untouchable rap project. Their chemistry is so organic, every collab the pair have done has always excelled - in particular ’1 Train’ on Rocky’s debut LP. It is the most energetic, enthralling cut of the record, and creates a nice, surprising contrast to finish off the album amidst it’s more soothing central sound.
Give the album a listen below.