Fresh from a trip down to Miami, breakout MC Action Bronson is quick with the cuisine jokes: despite sampling a few burgers and wines at the Food Network's South Beach Wine and Food Festival, the classically trained former chef maintains his signature version would've trumped all. "The Bronson Burger could've easily won any category at that place," he proclaims, casually asserting his culinary confidence.
Combining gut-busting humor, complex lyrical food references, and a vast understanding of street culture, Action Bronson carved out his own lane last year with undeniable mic skills and gregariously offbeat charisma. After self-releasing acclaimed debut "Dr. Lecter" and a well-received collaborative album with producer Statik Selectah ("Well-Done," on DCide), Bronson's latest effort, "Blue Chips," finds the Queens native teaming with Fool's Good Records producer Party Supplies and sneaker brand Reebok for an off-the-cuff free mixtape.
Much like Bronson's endless punch lines, "Blue Chips," out today (March 12) on Complex.com, took shape in an easygoing studio atmosphere. "The original thing I wanted to call it was '5 Minute Beats and 1 Take Raps' [because] that's pretty much all it really was," Bronson reveals. "It was all on the fly shit," agrees Party Supplies. "It wasn't thought out."
Most of "Blue Chips" was made in Party Supplies' home studio in Brooklyn over YouTube sample digging, grub from local chicken joint Pies 'n' Thighs, and obligatory smoke sessions.
Action Bronson + Party Supplies, "Blue Chips"
"I jumped on YouTube, found some weird obscure sample -- basically started looping it on the drum machine and [Bronson] wrote some shit," Party Supplies says of the recording. "It's digging in the crates," Bronson adds. "[YouTube] is digging nonetheless. It's still hard to find [the gems]."
The spontaneous environment spurred some choice moments of carefree collaboration. "Party Supplies helped me out on a rhyme, on the song 'Blue Chips,'" says Bronson. "He actually was saying things to me and I was turning them into rap."
That open-minded attitude attracted Reebok, leading it to fund the project and sponsor the release. "They're very progressive. They're both two different people, both very creative," says Reebok head of entertainment for global Matt Pantoja, a hip-hop fan and friend of managers Dante Ross (Bronson) and Peter Oasis (Party Supplies). "Everybody's talking about bringing New York back and all these things, and I felt like this was something that was going to create that kind of energy and get people psyched on the project."
For both artists, the Reebok deal was a chance to pair with one of their favorite brands. "Reebok introduced the idea to us, we were into it, and we love Reebok. [They're] such a classic company," Party Supplies says. "I grew up wearing them shits," affirms Bronson. "I wear the Kamakazi and I still have a lot of old school Reeboks today: the Pumps, the Michael Chang's, the Shaq's."
Still unsigned, Bronson relishes his creative freedom, and has three albums -- produced by the Alchemist, Harry Fraud and Tommy Mas, respectively -- slated for 2012. "If I was signed I would probably not be able to do things like this," he explains. "I wanted to get it all out while I can. Who knows how long I'll be able to rap."