Album Review: Action Bronson’s “Blue Chips 7000”

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Action Bronson serves laughs, gags and bars upon bars on “Blue Chips 7000” his latest album.

Jokes

Action Bronson is not a complicated man. He likes weed, women and food. He has other interests to be sure, but one can safely assume that he will reference one of those three subjects on most songs. Sometimes he references all three.

So with Bronson it’s clear what kind of listening experience you’re going to have. The only question is whether his craft can make up for his songs’ lack of substance. “Blue Chips 7000” answers that question with a resounding yes.

To set the mood the album opens with a skit. Bronson and friends are stoned somewhere (presumably) in New York. The skit isn’t profound, but it is funny. Bronson laughs as his friend refuses to describe how high she is. It’s the kind of moment between friends that everyone experiences but is rarely commutable as an interesting experience to anyone who “wasn’t there.”

But so that’s what Action Bronson does so well on this album: share the experience of being Action Bronson. We get to be there with him living this awesome life that he leads. We hear him rap over a car service’s holding music as he waits to go to Madison Square Garden. Later we hear him wax philosophical on the nature of thought. Bronson is clearly stoned as he describes the physical properties of thought. It’s funny to laugh at the rapper while relating to his pseudo-intellectualizing.

It’s also funny to laugh at Bronson (or whoever delivers the rant at the end of “Bonzai) when he’s not pseudo-intellectualizing. The person who says “Tom Hardy knew what a real cowboy was” sounds like he’s doing a Tom-Hardy-in-The-Revenant impersonation and it’s hilarious. The jokes on “Blue Chips 7000” are silly, relatable and never mean. It would be hard to listen to the album and not laugh at times.

Bars

Jokes aside, at the end of the day Action Bronson serves bars. You can pick out your favorites from the album, but that’s what we’re all here for. This is not conscious hip-hop, social art or experimental music. This is a dude, who drops lines, dropping lines. Here are some of those lines in no particular order:

My chick said I look like Kevin Bacon (For real)/I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not but I’ll take it

The above line along with…

I’m always eatin’ dinner/Still got the body of a swimmer and I don’t like winter no more

…are amazing. They’re both from “Bonzai” and they’re both ridiculous. Bronson looks nothing like Kevin Bacon nor does he have the body of a swimmer. Later on the album Bronson compares himself to Sting. You gotta love it.

I pray to Jobu that we all get money and live life sunny with a gold pool

Solid line plus a reference to “Major League.”

I’d give my right lung if I could dunk a basketball one time

This must have been born out of a “would you rather” session. Giving up an organ to dunk a basketball one time seems a little extreme. Maybe if you could dunk for a couple of days though?

“Blue Chips 7000”

“Blue Chips 7000” is Bronson’s first album in two years. In that time he has been busy making appearances on late night television and hosting shows on Vice Network. His skills have not diminished over that period, however, as he proves on this record.

On the new album we still get the ridiculous braggadocio, silly humor and great bars that make Action Bronson. It wouldn’t take a minute to find problems with the subject matter or lack of variance, but here it doesn’t feel necessary. Bronson is funny enough, charming enough and stoned enough to keep fans and listeners coming back for more. “Blue Chips 7000” plays for comedy and has just as many laughs the second time around. That’s hard to do.

Grade: 3.7/5

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