While awaiting his first official album, New Yorker Action Bronson has dropped a new mixtape to keep the peace, the excellent Blue Chips 2, a follow up to his 2012 breakthrough hit, Blue Chips.
Once again, Bronson has teamed up with producer Party Supplies for Blue Chips 2, a 19-track journey through wild samples, diverse beats, multiple guest spots, and of course, Bronson’s incredible vocabulary, witty rhymes and tight flow.
While the album title and artwork are basketball themed, there isn’t a major b-ball presence, but when it does enter Bronson’s lyrical flow, it’s always good value. ‘Practice’ samples Allen Iverson’s famous “practice” rant, while ‘9.24.13’ finds Bronson forcing former New York Knick Patrick Ewing into point shaving, as shown in the Blue Chips 2 trailer.
Bronson’s laid-back delivery and entertaining subject matter are major elements of his style, and on Blue Chips 2, he is as entertaining as ever. Be it comparing himself to The Bodyguard (‘Silverado’) and Zinedine Zidane (‘It’s Me’), talking about snorting cocaine and dancing like Elaine from Seinfeld (‘Rolling Thunder’), or his always colourful food descriptions (‘It Concerns Me’), Bronson’s fantastic metaphors and smart pop culture references are in abundance, helping solidify his position as one of raps most captivating performers.
But it’s not all Bronson; with Party Supplies unique production style the other main ingredient to the mixtapes success. Known for constructing many of his beats from unique samples (everything from old school hip-hop beats to sound bites from YouTube clips), Party Supplies affords Bronson a hugely diverse buffet of beats to feast on.
There’s ‘The Don’s Cheek,’ with its oriental feel, the 70s blaxpolitation ‘Man & The Mirror,’ complete with screeching tyre and kung-fu samples, or the boppy Tijuana-esque ‘It’s Me,’ that even includes an advertisement for arthritis. And lets not forget the ridiculous amount of songs sampled throughout Blue Chips 2. Bronson spits an almost breathless verse over Tracey Chapman’s 90s classic, ‘Give Me One Reason,’ while ‘Contemporary Man’ is like an ode to the 80s, with Bam Bam rhyming over snippets of Peter Gabriel, Lisa Lisa, John “Cougar” Mellencamp, Huey Lewis and Phil Collins, twice.
Like their previous collaboration, Blue Chips 2 is another example of why Action Bronson and Party Supplies make such a great team. As a stop-gap between now and his debut, this mixtape has everything you want from a Bronson record, joining the list of contenders for hip-hop release of the year.