Release Date: Nov 22, 2011
Record label: iHipHop
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock
Some small, reflexive impatience in me longed to dismiss Action Bronson's existence the second I heard his sales pitch: white guy from Queens, sounds exactly like Ghostface Killah, raps over soul loops and has a thing for extravagant food metaphors because he's also a chef. I mean, come on. It felt so on-the-nose it hardly needed to exist, like an abandoned Adult Swim pilot in rapper form.
With references to duck prosciutto, smoked brisket, and carpaccio, former chef-turned-MC Action Bronson's first collaborative effort, Well-Done, is certainly the most culinary-themed rap record you'll hear this year. But backed by East Coast hip-hop DJ Statik Selektah's trademark horn stabs, chopped-up vocal samples, and laid-back beats, the follow-up to acclaimed debut Dr. Lecter shows that there's more to the Albanian New Yorker than just a plate of food metaphors.
Lawrence-born producer Statik Selektah has crafted tracks for nearly every credible East Coast lyricist over the past several years, and his sample-based modern boom-bap beats find a natural partner in Queens rapper Action Bronson’s bawdy charisma. Delivered in breathless slang-laced verses, Bronson paints darkly funny pictures of street-level New York life. On “Cocoa Butter,’’ backed by Statik’s horns and crisp snares, he declares himself “the Leslie Nielsen of the weed and the word.
On “Respect The Mustache,” the table-setting opener from Queens rapper Action Bronson’s full-length collaboration with Boston producer Statik Selektah, Well Done, Bronson offers a boastful but telling profile of himself: “I’m straight raw like carpaccio/I’m just a heartthrob that’s straight off the screen just like DiCaprio. ” It’s a ripe breakdown of the winning formula that has catapulted the former gourmet chef from relative anonymity to Internet rap notoriety in only a year’s time—he’s a pure lyricist with a raw, no-frills approach to rapping (in an age where lyrics often take a backseat to novelty), and he packs a XXL charm and larger-than-life personality that, reminiscent of rappers like Notorious B. I.
Just eight months after dropping his critically acclaimed debut, Dr. Lecter, hip-hop’s second favorite culinary artist, Action Bronson, is back in the kitchen, and this time he has sous-chef Statik Selektah on grill duties, cooking up some heaters. The recipe is simple: dope rhymes over funky beats. No more, no less.
Jessica Reedy It would be unfair to listen to “From the Heart” (Light/eOne), the debut album by Jessica Reedy — a runner-up on the BET gospel music reality competition “Sunday Best” — without hearing the praise. But where so much of modern gospel declares its faithfulness through volume ….