In The Lab: Party Supplies Talks Blue Chips 2 and Upcoming Solo Album
Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)
Last Friday, Action Bronson confirmed to us that the sequel to his 2012 project with producer Party Supplies, Blue Chips 2, is officially up next. This is a bit different from the release schedule Bronsolino was originally promoting, which had his major label full-length debut dropping after his Saaab Stories EP with Harry Fraud, but we’re not disappointed at all with the shift. Blue Chips remains one of our favorites in Action’s growing catalog here at NahRight, and a great deal of that is due to Party Supplies’ slamming production.
As a companion piece to Bronson’s The Green Room feature, we caught up with Party Supplies to get a better feel for what he’s been cooking up with Bam Bam for the Blue Chips sequel, and find out the stories behind some of the loose tracks they’ve done in the past year or so that may or may not appear on the project. Turns out Bronson was at his crib yesterday morning working on the sequencing of BC2, already getting things in order for the final presentation.
In addition, we spoke to PS about his solo debut Tough Love, which is coming soon on Fool’s Gold Records, and also his brother Kings English’s slept-on mixtape—which he executive produced—Dykstra. Step inside the lab with Party Supplies.
Blue Chips 2
Party Supplies: “For the people who liked Blue Chips, [the sequel] is gonna be a similar vibe. We recorded it in the same spot in Williamsburg. We never stopped the same process. Nothing’s changed.
“I’ve just been recording endless amounts of material with him. I can tell you, [what we’ve already recorded] is absolutely absurd. I think it’s crazy. We took it to another level. Blue Chips was sick, and Blue Chips 2 is gonna be even better. He’s having even more fun on this one than the last one.
“We’ve been recording for a year and a half now, almost two years [for Blue Chips 2], which is crazy because he tweeted we were ten songs in last June, and we’ve kept working [since then]. He’s been touring a lot, but the weeks that he’s been in New York, he’s been coming through, and we’ve just been putting the songs in a folder and [keeping] the ideas going.
“We have some joints. Most with samples, but some without. If some of them end up on [his debut label] album, and others end up on Blue Chips 2, it’s his decision. But [I can say] the intro to Blue Chips 2 is really awesome. And a lot of the samples are things you wouldn’t expect people to be rhyming on, like crazy stuff we grew up on back in the day.
“I’d say [Blue Chips 2 is like] beef carpaccio. It’s like raw beef. It’s raw, man. It’s always raw. That’s why he’s good. That’s what people wanna hear. I know how to record rap, but at the same time, you have to know how to work with an artist as a producer. That’s what it’s all about. The raw.”
Working with Action Bronson
“He writes fast. He hears the beat, and he’ll write [a song] in like an hour. I know rappers that [I’ve worked with that] take forever. GZA takes forever. My brother takes forever to write verses. So it’s fun to work with [Action] because you have a finished product when you’re done [with the session]. He may come back and lay another verse, [but the song is basically done quickly].
“Honestly, I’ve known [Action] for almost three years probably, even more. And he hasn’t changed one bit with any of the success. He doesn’t come around with more people now, or anything like that. He’s a good dude. He’s my friend, so we just chill. He’s my boy. I like to work with him, and I want to continue the success we’ve had.
“I live in the middle of Williamsburg, so the food here is good, and I got the studio [at the crib]. It’s just a good atmosphere to work. He’ll come in, and we can smoke freely in my crib. He’ll write some shit on a big piece of paper. I have all his verses in here, stacked up in the crib. So many. I loop up the samples on the MPC-1000, add some drums to it, and [record using] Pro Tools.
“I’ve been doing [lots of stuff with live instruments for this project]. I’ve been working with the bass, live drums, and my Fender Rhodes [keyboard]. I try to always do live stuff with him. But it always starts with the MPC. That’s the heart of the whole operation.
“I made that Danny Brown song ‘Grown Up’ in the crib too, in the same spot that we recorded Blue Chips. That song blew up. There’s a vibe here in my apartment.”
“I try [to hang with Action on the wax]. He makes my girl take dabs all the time, and my brother. I try to do the dabs, but they’re a little hardcore for me. But the dabs took Blue Chips 2 to another level. When we were doing Blue Chips, it was like joints, and then the Volcano. And then he was putting wax in the joints, you know, the ‘shrimp shit.’
“For Blue Chips 2, he comes over now with, not even the G Pen, he’s got the Highly Educated shit, the Nail. The electric Nail that stays hot, so you don’t have to put butane to it. If you touch your skin to it at any point, it will burn right through your skin. It’s like a fucking XLR cable. It looks like a microphone power supply. It goes from an XLR cable to the tip of the bong. It’s next level. I’ve been even using it a little bit.”
“‘November Rain’ was intended for Blue Chips 2. It got leaked on the XXL tape, so I can’t really say if it’s gonna be on Blue Chips 2. I don’t really know how he wants to execute it, and with the [Guns N’ Roses] sample and everything, I just really don’t know yet. But that’s definitely the vibe of the material that we have captured.
“That [sample came] from me fucking around with the laptop one day. We were watching the ‘Patience’ video, and if you ever watch any of the old Guns N’ Roses videos they’re fucking ridiculous. Axl Rose will be walking through a mansion with bodyguards around him, and he has those Converse hi-tops. He was next level. So we were just watching all those crazy videos.
“The video for ‘November Rain’ is where I got the majority of the audio from. The video is more epic than the actual master recording, because the video has all the sound effects. It definitely set a mood for [Action] to come in with that first line. He told me he came out [at the XXL show] to people chanting his name, and he felt like Axl Rose.
“People keep tweeting at me to release the instrumental to ‘November Rain.’ And I think that’s an absurd question, because all I did was take ‘November Rain’ and loop it, and play with it a little bit. I didn’t do much. But I think it was epic.”
“That will probably be on there, I’m assuming. I’ve been going through each song with him, and we’ve been fleshing them out. I’ve been living with these songs for a while now. There’s wild shit. That [came from] us going through YouTube and [looking for crazy samples]. I literally may have even typed in ‘African jazz’ [as a search]. That’s how real it is. Those kalimbas are so distinct, and obscure.”
“That ‘Midget Cough’ shit, my brother came to me with a sample one day, like, ‘I got this sample.’ So I looped that shit up, and Bronson spit that shit. There was definitely a vibe that day. My brother helps me alot. You know, we’re brothers, so we talk everyday, and he’ll come to me with ideas. He’ll want to use [samples] for himself, but I’ll end up using it with Bronson, and it’s all good.”
Action Bronson’s Discography
“Saaab Stories is ridiculous. The intro is insane, and the way [Harry Fraud] arranged it is really great. It’s cool because he’s coming with a new sound. Not a lot of samples. Well, a few samples, but It’s crazy. I’ve been working with Fraud for years. We did a project a few years ago, and we’ve been friends ever since.
“Alchemist is like my idol. I have all his vinyls. I think that shit was so hot. I love [Rare Chandeliers]. Some of the records were so obscure, like ‘Eggs On The Third Floor.’ If you just meet Bronson, and you’re just getting to know his music now, he’s got an awesome discography. Dr. Lecter is really hot, too. That’s the shit that started it all. Tommy Mas is like my favorite producer that I’ve ever worked with. I love when he does the stuff with Tommy. I’d like to see him do more. All the producers that work with Bronson really helped shape his sound.
“It’s cool how Bronson works. He had a lot of projects lined up, and he took his time to execute every single one. And I’ll record verses for Bronson on other people’s beats here if he needs to take care of something. He’s my friend, so I’m always willing to help.”
“My brother’s been doing his thing. He goes by the name Kings English. I executive produced his first EP, which is [out now]. It’s called Dykstra. He hand-picked beats off the Internet. It’s a mixtape basically made up of other people’s beats. I didn’t [make any of the beats on the EP], but I arranged the whole thing for him, and told him what verses to use and what not to use. He needed that. [Definitely check out] Kings English. He’s gonna change rap. He’s the white Jay Electronica.”
“My solo record [Tough Love] is coming out on Fool’s Gold. People may know me as a producer, but at the end of the day, I’m an artist too, who will be on stage with my guitar singing my love songs, with my boy Sean playing the piano. [Rap] fans know me as a producer, but the fans that we’ve accumulated in the rock world know us as a duo. So I’ve got to give him credit. Our album cover is a photo of me and him. That’s kind of the direction I’m going in with Party Supplies, but the Internet is gonna know me as one thing, and I’m not mad at that.
“It’s like pop/rock, electro. Heavy ‘80s, early ‘90s influences. It’s pretty wild stuff. It’s gonna be a game-changer. I have a few hit songs on this record. Once they combine it with the visual, it’s over. No one’s making the music I’m making right now. There’s no other male vocalist that’s singing like this. It’s not like Justin Timberlake. It’s not like Fun. It’s kind of like George Michael. [Laughs.] But it’s very upbeat. This has been my whole thing all along. This is what I got a record deal for. Then after I got the deal, I started working with Bronson out of nowhere.
“[Blue Chips] overshadowed my whole project with Fool’s Gold, because Bronson’s so undeniably good. But it’s funny, because I’m gonna come out with something that’s a 360 to Blue Chips. As a rap fan, I had to be a dick, and do something so left field. And I did it. And people like Bronson respect that. He drives around and listens to my shit. And it’s interesting to have him on my side, because he’s the last person you would expect [to like it] if you listen to my record. And Roc Marci fucks with me hard, too. And that’s awesome, because he’s one of my favorite rappers.
“It may not be rap, or what you would expect a rap fan to listen to. But at the end of the day, that shit is corny if you’re just listening to rap. There’s just so much good music.”
Pics via Instagram
Related: The Green Room with Action Bronson