God Is In The TV > Reviews > Live > Action Bronson – Barfly, Camden, London 25/03/2012 (Matinee Show)

Action Bronson – Barfly, Camden, London 25/03/2012 (Matinee Show)



Bronson, fresh from the streets of Flushing, Queens NYC is an ex top restaurant chef and fine cuisine master of Albanian descent with a style often compared to the greatest of the machine gun tongue rolling MCs Ghostface Killah, but with a distinct subject set unique to the material he’s been releasing over the last two years.

His debut EP, first full length ‘Dr Lecter’ and brand new mixtape ‘Blue Chips’ have melted minds as Action melded rhymes about vintage pro wrestling with his other favourite topics – dinner, drugs, drink and, er, ladies – more specifically the joy he gets from their vaginas and vice versa. When not drawing attention to these delicious topics he’s rhymed a few words on Teenage Turtles and tossed out a couple of death threats here and there, ya know, just to keep in with the style.

But Bronson is not all talk, no matter how paradoxical that sounds in the world of hip hop:

His debut London show is packed to the grim walls, the shitbox Barfly venue rammed well past capacity and, on entry, already ripe with a little whiff of blue-white weed smoke. In contrast to the sparkling first day of Summer shining in the beer gardens of Camden the placeis a depressing little dive, same as it ever was, and while we’re jostling for a view and the DJ is lighting up some classic beats Bronson emerges with his crew doing some lighting up of their own.

That the man is a fucking rhyming machineis in no doubt as he blazes through the lyrical gymnastics of ‘Steve Wynn’(“I’m known to keep a fresh foot like podiatry / no-one as high as me”) and the awesome boom of ‘Barry Horowitz’ (“It’s Barry Horowitz rap / I pat myself on the back”), eyes closed, fat joint being sucked down, smoke hacked up between beats. He lights yet another and passes it to the kids in the crowd, the venue turns into a blackwalled skunk hotbox and as Bronson flows through his people, hugging, posing and most importantly rapping as he goes it’s both obvious that he’s beloved by this room and that he entirely deserves it.

Turning an indie toilet into a hip hop party can’t be easy but Bronson makes it look that way, recent single ‘Hookers At The Point’ with it’s killer, maybe controversial lines like “Cindy, she nother self unless she smoking crack / seven times she got stabbed in the back / By a regular john she dealt with many times before / That’s what she gets for being a whore though…” and fortified winner ‘Shiraz’ (“Aged wine got me spinnin’ like a  dreidel”) explode, Bronson’s accuracy, speed and vast vocabulary becoming all the more amazing the more drugs he inhales, the closer to your face he is as he spits his rhymes. When he’s not reaching out to his fans he’s buying them beers (he throws down £100 to get people drinks at the bar, mid-flow) or apologizing for pissing during the set (his cordless mic allowing us to hear as he makes it to the bathroom). The whole room is cheering, smiling as the big beast of new New York underground hip hop charms and disarms them,even running through a miraculous version of ‘Miss Fordham’ boasting maybe his finest couplet: “Give her something white and filled with cream – Twinkie /Leave her blinded, semen in her eyes – Blinky”. You may wanna be offended by this but Bronson’s sly grin and open manner suggest you shouldn’t bother.

It’s rare to hear a voice this instantly engaging and so completely entertaining.

London shows by US rappers normally fall into one of two categories – a cursory public appearance by a couldn’t-give-a-single-shit rising star or a kind of cabaret show from one ofthe big hitters of the 80s or 90s(no names needed here). Both tend to disappoint, both have their own strange appeal. Action Bronson proves today thatwith elaborate, intelligent, funny-as-fuck, ocean-flowing, rhythm-masteredstyle and the right attitude (ie a fully positive one), that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Outside the venue post-show Bronson parties with fans, takes photos, even takes the time to ask how people are doing and how they enjoyed the show. Fists are bumped, video is shot and days are made.While he’s sipping another vodka orange and burning another joint you can’t believe he’s got another show to do in just a couple of hours – he’s legit hardcore. It’s a solid gold guarantee that the next time he hits these shores he’ll be headlining the big venues – as long as he can keep his work and skills as tight as this it’ll translate perfectly to the more mainstream crowd.

Action Bronson – Heavyweight Champion & Instant Legend – just add marijuana.




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