Action Bronson’s 10 Best Collabos of 2013 (So Far)
Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)
There’s no question that Action Bronson had a huge 2012. The Flushing, Queens rapper, best known for his crimson beard and foodie flows, released two of the best projects of the year—Blue Chips with Party Supplies and Rare Chandeliers with Alchemist—and made a ton of guest appearances too, solidifying himself as a hip-hop heavyweight not to be fucked with on the mic.
In 2013, he’s taken his career to another level, earning an overdue spot on the XXL Freshman cover, releasing his first big radio smash “Strictly 4 My Jeeps,” and dropping his long-awaited EP with Harry Fraud Saaab Stories via Atlantic Records. Plus, he’s been on everyone’s project, from A$AP Rocky’s to Mac Miller’s to Chance The Rapper’s to Prodigy & Alchemist’s. Let’s face it, Bronsolino is a star, and everyone in hip-hop from up-and-coming artists to legendary MCs in the game now recognizes that.
It’s only June, but after compiling a playlist of our favorite 2013 Bam Bam tracks earlier this week, we decided that we should take a moment to highlight the wealth of dope collaborations he’s already done this year. We’re bound to hear more before the ‘13 is out, but sometimes it’s important to pause and celebrate history while it’s still in the making. These are Action Bronson’s 10 Best Collabos of 2013 (So Far).
*Bonus* Joey Fatts ft. Action Bronson “Live Blasphemous”
Though Bronsolino is Queens to the core, he’s become somewhat of an honorary West coaster in the past year, spending lots of his time in the Los Angeles area smoking heavy amounts of drugs and recording endless crack at Alchemist’s crib. In turn, he sounds right at home alongside Long Beach rapper Joey Fatts on this Childish Major-produced cut from Chipper Jones Volume 2. Hard.
10. Prodigy ft. Action Bronson “The One”
It was about time that Mobb Deep’s H.N.I.C. teamed up with Action Bronson. It made perfect sense too, since they both rep Queens to the fullest and work closely with Alchemist, the producer of this gully Albert Einstein banger. Bam Bam hangs tough with Pee on the track, rapping, “I shape-shift to a disease, attack your lungs and cripple your knees/R&B chicks get twisted with ease, blitzkrieg.” Damn, son.
9. Joey Bada$$ ft. Action Bronson “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”
After first appearing together on A$AP Rocky’s posse cut “1 Train” (see below), Bronson finally connected on his own with his XXL Freshmen compadre Joey Bada$$ for DJ Drama’s official 2013 XXL Freshmen Mixtape. Over a dope, Chuck Strangers joint, the two finessed their flows and effortlessly proved why they were selected as part of this year’s XXL Freshmen crop. The new New York is outchea, and from the sounds of this one, they’ll be around for a long time.
8. Chance The Rapper ft. Action Bronson “NaNa”
Chicago’s rising star Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap mixtape was one of the most anticipated projects of the spring, and thanks to the hip-hop gods, Bam Bam landed a guest spot on “NaNa,” one of the tape’s standout cuts. It’s one of the more fun moments on the tape, as Bronson mimics Chance’s flow, setting off his sing-songy third verse by describing his new non-baldie hairstyle, rapping, “Introducing, it’s Bronsolino/With my hair slicked back I look like Rick Pitino.” And this song is also proof that out in Chi-town, Bam Bam’s name is ringing bells right now.
7. Action Bronson ft. Prodigy and Raekwon “Seven Series Triplets”
Action hopped on Prodigy’s Albert Einstein joint, and he returned the love by inviting Pee to add on to his Saaab Stories slapper “Seven Series Triplets.” And oh yeah, fellow chef Raekwon stepped to the stove to cook up as well. This is three the hard way, for real for real.
6. Action Bronson ft. Wiz Khalifa “The Rockers”
Last April, Wiz spilled the beans during an MTV interview that he was a fan of Action’s, and that they had recorded a song together. A year later, their collaboration was finally released on Saaab Stories. Needless to say, Cheech & Chong ain’t got nothing on these two potheads. And as eskay noted in his post when the joint first leaked, “Fraud went Jamón on this beat.” Watch for the drop-kick, suckers.
5. Tony Touch ft. Action Bronson and Kool G Rap “It’s A Queens Thing”
In our recent Mixtape Memories interview with Tony Touch, he told the story about how he was able to get Bronson and Kool G Rap on the same record for his upcoming compilation album The Piece Maker 3. This is a monumental record for Queens, as one of the borough’s all-time greats joins forces with their most notable newcomer.
It’s also ill because Bronson has often cited Kool G Rap as one of his favorite rappers ever, and has shared stories during past interviews about meeting him back in the day. There was the time Bam Bam saw G Rap playing basketball with his son in the park donning pleated dress pants and a dress vest, and got his autograph on a napkin. And he also met G Rap at his father’s restaurant, during the video shoot for the Rawkus-released single “My Life.” It’s only right that they finally jumped on a track together. Props to Statik Selektah for the fly beat, too. Cruise to this.
4. Mac Miller ft. Action Bronson “Red Dot Music”
We had heard that these two pale rap phenoms had something in the works a while back, and it turned out to be one of the highlights on Mac’s new LP Watching Movies With the Sound Off. Alchemist does what he does best behind the boards while Mac and Bam Bam trade drug-influenced bars, showing off their lyrical prowess. Bronson shines with lines about holding a “multi-colored flavor gat” and “rocking lizards from a strange river,” while Mac disses his opposition rapping, “If your Banana Republic fit go suck a dick/And your bitch lookin’ like Cousin Itt, the ugliest.” Good stuff, fellas.
3. Statik Selektah ft. Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, and Mike Posner “The Spark”
Statik Selektah’s album Extended Play was quietly a part of the massive June 18th rap drop that also included full-length releases by Kanye West, Mac Miller, and J. Cole. Extended Play contains a ton of collabos featuring the who’s who in hip-hop, including this Bronson and Bada$$ banger. And don’t sleep on Mike Posner, who murders the non-autotuned hook over a tight Statik beat containing the same sample as Curren$y’s 3 Piece Set gem “Can’t Get Out.” What a potent combination. It’s unfortunate that in the midst of all the June 18th hype there hasn’t been more talk about this particular track. Shit is hot.
2. A$AP Rocky ft. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, and Big K.R.I.T. “1 Train”
This ridiculous posse cut leaked in 2012, but technically, Rocky’s album dropped on January 15th of this year, so it’s a must we include it on this short list. It’s seriously unfair that Rocky was able to gather these many young kings for one track, including its producer Hit-Boy. “1 Train” was an early lock for posse cut of the year, and it’s doubtful anyone will top it. And Bam Bam holds his own in the lineup, shouting out baseball great Kenny Lofton and comparing the way his woman gallops on the beach to a “Chilean horse.” It’s still undecided who had the best verse on the song, but there’s no denying that Bam Bam bodied this beat and repped for his borough thoroughly.
1. Action Bronson ft. LL Cool J and Lloyd Banks “Strictly 4 My Jeeps (Remix)”
“Strictly 4 My Jeeps” was a hit on its own, as proven by its frequent spins by Funkmaster Flex, DJ Enuff, and Cipha Sounds on Hot 97. But it became more of a monster when Action got fellow Queens MCs LL Cool J and Lloyd Banks to hop on the remix. LL sounds as hungry as he did on his “Rampage” verse, the EPMD cut he originally appeared on back in 1990 that bears the same sample. Plus Banks is back in G-Unit mixtape shape, too. And with a fresh set of Bronson bars, this became a historic moment for Queens, and an instant classic for all of NYC and beyond. Expect many more bombs to be dropped to this throughout the summer.