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It’s hard to hate someone who rhymes about wanting the ‘Caesar salad, served table-side…
It was ‘Action in the Kitchen’ that did it.
Before then, we weren’t all that convinced about Action Bronson. From what we’d heard of him, he was a Ghostface Killah hand-me-down, a guy with a slightly lazy flow who might perk up a few ears every so often, but wouldn’t trouble the big dogs. But then we saw the rapper (who, if stories are to be believed, has a real-life second career as a chef) searing a side of tuna on Youtube, getting excited about the sushi-grade quality of the fish, and we figured he deserved another shot. On such flimsy pretexts are our editorial decisions made. So sue us.
Perhaps we should make judgements based on culinary prowess more often, because we’ve gone back and listened to Action some more, and he’s badass. More importantly, he’s fun, in a way Ghostface never was. Sure, his flow might be cover-band-identical to the Wu Tang member, but it’s hard to hate someone who rhymes about his lungs being “smoky like the pork shoulder” or how he wants the “Caesar salad, served table-side—waiter toss it, get the flavour right”. It’s the hip-hop equivalent of a Michael Winner restaurant review. It’s wonderful.
And once you’ve got past the schtick of culinary references (which we loved, but can understand why others might not) there’s a lot more to the Queens MC than you’d think. He has a gift for evocative imagery, and for placing himself at the very centre of attention. That last one is quite important, because on Well Done, he’s pared with Statik Selektah, which is a good look for both of them. Statik—arguably the most well-connected producer in rap—has really made some fantastic beats for Bronson here. In the past, his stuff has been a little underwhelming, and even his work with best buddy Termanology has sometimes seemed ho-hum, but here? It’s all sushi-grade.
Check out the highlight reel: ‘Time for Some’, a soulful number which samples Cypress Hill and has Lil Fame (MOP) on hook duties, is just gorgeous, with fantastic verses and some brilliant samples. ‘Cocoa Butter’, which pares Bronson with Nina Sky, will put a big fat smile on your face, as will cuts like ‘White Silk’ and ‘Central Bookings’.
Both MC and producer are at their very best here, and we can’t recommend this one highly enough. One thing though: the cover. It’s awful. Seriously: what the hell is it?
Note to Bronson: presentation is just as important as flavour.Action Bronson: Time for Some ft. Lil Fame