Action Bronson Talks ‘Mr Wonderful’ Album, Weird Munchies Cravings, Collaborating With Steven Seagal & More [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
Known for his illustrative way with words, unpredictable antics and appetite for destruction both in the booth and at the dinner table, Action Bronson has made a name for himself as an independent artist and he’s finally ready for his major label debut, Mr. Wonderful.
The Flushing, Queens, N.Y. native began creating a buzz in 2009, when a video of his freestyle landed on the internet. Two years later, he dropped his first studio album, the Tommy Mas-produced project Dr. Lecter, which increased his fan base and helped him to connect with producers Statik Selektah, the Alchemist and Party Supplies.
Thanks to his solid online following and support from his supporters, in 2013, Bronson was inducted into XXL’s Freshman Class and almost instantly earned mainstream approval. A few cult classic mixtapes including Blue Chips 2 and the Harry Fraud collaboration Saab Stories, a host of features on some of your favorite artists’ tracks and a stoner’s dream of a web series F---, That’s Delicious later, Bronson has successfully shed his underdog title. If you let his fans tell it, he's one of the best rappers out.
He’s come a long way from appearing in Tampon commercials. With Mr. Wonderful on the way on March 24, he has earned the right to call himself one of the nicest and hardest working MCs in the game right now.
The Boombox caught up with Bronson at Goliath Artists headquarters in New York City to discuss his highly anticipated project. In between tokes of his finest weed, the rhymer talks about his new album, his weirdest munchies cravings, collaborating with Steven Seagal and blessing his daughter with his musical ear.
The Boombox: Why was Chance the Rapper the right guy to team up with on "Baby Blue?"
Chance featured me on his record Acid Rap and I am the type of guy who likes to show love back. He actually put himself on the track and he sent it to me. He was in London at Mark Ronson's studio; they had the beat he laid his verse down and they sent it over. I was like alright, it's a go. Chance is the homie, he's a good kid and we've always had a good rapport. He added a lot to the song and made it complete.
What set of lyrics or a topic do you address particularly on this album that you are excited for fans to finally hear?
Every single song. This whole project is a piece of art to me. I have been sitting on it a long time and I am ready for it to come out. I want everything to be thoroughly indulged.
Listen to Action Bronson's "Baby Blue" Feat. Chance the Rapper
You are known to usually team up with one producer on your projects, whether it's Harry Fraud or Alchemist, you work with them on the entire project. On this album are we going to get a mix of producers?
With this album it's definitely still family. I am working with a bunch of producers. But we are all like-minded and it's people I already built relationships with. To me, it's not about a name, it's about the vibe we have. On this album, I have Party Supplies, the Alchemist -- one of the top producers who's ever lived in my eyes -- Mark Ronson, Ono, Statik Selektah and 88 Keys.
You were discovered online and do a really good job of connecting with fans on social media. How has that sort of digital marketing helped you?
I have to do it because nobody really helped me and there's still sparse help now. I was working and didn't have a computer since AOL had dial-up and in 2009, someone put up a freestyle I did in the studio and someone put it on a website. It snowballed from there. But I put in a lot of work.
Once you get to a certain point where the blog and outlets have to post your s--- because that's the only way they get paid, I like to stay on point with Instagram and Twitter because I control it. It's easier that way, it's all me. I can post and say whatever I want. If there is a typo, it was me.
If your children listen to your music, what is one of their favorite songs?
My 9-year-old daughter can recite every line from "Easy Rider" and that is not an easy song to do. She raps all of Nicki Minaj and everything, she's dope. She has my musical ear for sure. She sings and she's beautiful. It's very powerful.
Watch Action Bronson's "Actin Crazy" Video
Who was the last person to give you advice regarding your music career that you actually listened to?
I take advice daily from people you know, but I pick and choose what I listen to. But Alchemist hit me the other day like, "You have to jump on more remixes like Wayne did during his mixtape days." Then Mark Ronson hit me to get on the No. 1 song in the world, "Uptown Funk" [featuring Bruno Mars] and I did a verse for it. So after Alchemist was just saying I need to get on more records that just kind of fell in my lap.
In a past talk with Interview Magazine, you said you wanted to do an album with Steven Seagal. Why him?
It would be an interesting mash-up. I think he would be an interesting pairing just because his background in reggae and reggae dancing.
Your videos are really intriguing and have a lot going on. What hip-hop video from another artist do you wish you could recreate?
I don't know of any videos I like right now. I think for me, I change it up all the time so I can't really call it. It's more organic when I am creating a video concept.
Speaking of organic, what's your favorite strand of weed?
I like Purple Haze. Uptown Purple Haze though. They only have it in Washington Heights, [New York].
If you could smoke a joint with any deceased rapper who would it be and why?
I think it would be [Big] Pun, just to pick his brain. Or maybe Big L.
Has smoking weed ever inspired you to create in a way that shocked you, where you were like "Damn that's a great idea"?
I think it's so regular, because I am always high, you know. Every thought is made high so I am always thinking of the next great idea.
We all know you are a foodie from Vice's F--, That's Delicious series. What's your weirdest munchies creation?
Man, there are some nasty ones. I made like tuna and chocolate syrup. How f---ing disgusting is that? I don't even know what I was trying to make, maybe some type of patty or something.
Listen to Action Bronson's "Terry"
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