A few years ago, a rotund, energetic wrapper who was totally into food came into popularity. That guy was Action Bronson, who teamed up with producer Party Supplies to bring out Blue Chips 2. Now they’re back, with a sequel.
Right now, I’m listening to the track “Contemporary Man”. It is the weirdest idea behind production and rapping I’ve heard in a while. Party Supplies takes various samples of 80s hits, from Peter Gabriel‘s “Sledgehammer” to Phil Collin‘s “Sussodio” to John Mellencamp‘s “Jack and Diane” and lets Bronson obliterate it with his rapping. While Bronson doesn’t really say much, with lines like “Randy Quaid with a turtleneck”, he does it with aplomb.
On “Man & the Mirror”, Bronson brings the album to a fitting midpoint by doing some self reflection. With that same enthusiasm that infects the whole album, he raps a self-affirmation (“that means I’m sexually active”) that even makes the listener feel good. It’s a concise track, almost like the perfectly executed Stuart Smalley sketch on a vintage 90s Saturday Night Live.
Tracks like this make Blue Chips 2 an experience that lends itself to fun and gatherings, albeit with a slightly mistimed release. Nonetheless, I think there’s some fun to be had in the disparate samples that Party Supplies pulls for the tape. Take for instance, the Jason Sudeikis-narrated Applebee’s commercial with Bob Knight and Digger Phelps that ran for much of the 2013 NCAA Basketball tournament. He effortlessly transitions it into quotes from the famous Allen Iverson “practice” speech in a song of the same name. Bronson occasionally says something funny, but the samples always come out as the star.
Near the end of the tape, on the track “Amadu Diablo”, Party Supplies lifts Tracy Chapman‘s “Give Me One Good Reason”. The tone it sets is incredibly important for when Bronson says “Fuck! I nutted in three strokes! That’s no way to rep the East Coast!” Instead of a light-hearted moment on the record, it turns into a serious moment of regret in Action Bronson’s retelling of a sexual conquest.
Action Bronson has always been a rapper whose style has conquered his substance. On Blue Chips 2, producer Party Supplies conquers the record with disparate samples and creating a festive mood.
Listen to Blue Chips 2 via Noisey