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Action Bronson – Saaab Stories
I’m going to admit off the bat that I’m a huge fan of Action Bronson. I first heard him at the beginning of 2011 and he blew me away. He brought something new to my ears that I, as a long-time rap fan, desperately needed. For me rapping isn’t always about the message, it’s how its delivered and something about Bronson’s sharp wordplay, witty food references and overall distinctly New York vibe got me excited about hip-hop again.
It’s hard for me to fault anything this guy comes out. There’s “Well Done” with Static Selekta, his Tommy Mas produced studio LP “Dr Lecter” , his collaborative effort using mostly Youtube-sampled audio, with producer/DJ Party Supplies on “Blue Chips” as well as “Rare Chandeliers” with prolific LA based producer The Alchemist, it’s clear Action is developing some strong professional relationships in the music business. Collaborating with one producer on an entire album is obviously his forte and we see this again with the short but sweet Harry Fraud produced EP, “Saaab Stories”.
We start off with “72 Virgins”, driven by a melodic bass line and electric guitar jabs , it provides the perfect introduction for the album. We are set up for what to expect by Action as he spits, “phones tapped so speak Swedish when you call the crib”. Big Body Bes provides the kind of ‘don’t fuck with us’ support after Bronson’s only verse of the song that always gets a smile from me.
“Strictly For My Jeeps” samples EPMD and LL Cool J’s track, ““Rampage” as well as the “slow down baby’ hook. It’s the single release off the record and has already become one of Action Bronson’s anthems during his live performances. See why below in the hilarious video below with special cameos from Riff Raff and more of Bronson’s crew like Meyhem Lauren and AG Da Coroner.
It’s in Alligator that we hear, halfway through the track, a unique beat change and some very different styled lyrics from Bronson. Sure it’s a similar subject matter (prostitution and mustard straight from Russia), but “as baby turtles break the sand just to figure out the meaning, instinctively they heading towards the water coz they need it…..” we see some touches of new possibilities and directions for Action as he develops his rapping more and more.
For a 7 song, 25 minute record, having Wiz Khalifa, Prodigy and Raekwon provide just enough star power for strong features without taking any shine off the main man. Perhaps could’ve done without Wiz but I understand why he was there. “The Rockers” is a good listen with strong verses from both of them and a smooth, cruisey beat. Quality finish to the album with “Seven Series Triplets” as well. It’s great to hear Prodigy again too, probably got one of the best voices in rap, in my opinion.
While I, like so many others, wanted more tracks from Fraud and Bronson, something about Saaab Stories briefness seemed necessary and added to its overall charm. Because one may miss so many of his references to the various gymnast moves, irrelevant retired wrestlers or French cuisine (to name only a few of his many specialities), its very easy to listen to this on repeat a few times in one sitting. We knew Harry Fraud was going to bring it to the table and as usual his beats are on point and create a perfect blend of whiny, melodic sounds with altered vocal loops that give Bronson the perfect platform for doing what he does best.
Saaab Stories Tracklisting
Saab Stories is available on iTunes or Action Bronson’s webpage for purchase now. Some of his independently released records are available from his website for free. Check em out if you haven’t already! http://www.actionbronson.com/downloads/