Action Bronson: Mr. Wonderful review

By - Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Action Bronson has won over his fans with a genuine charm that is entirely his own. He’ll be the first to tell you – he’s not here to put out music he doesn’t 100% stand behind. He’s being doing things his own way since he started, a mere four years ago.

He is here, he is humble, he is hungry, he is honest.

Mr. Wonderful is a hip hop album my own mother wouldn’t turn down at first listen. It has a big band feel production-wise, with Action Bronson mixing up his vocals from firing bars to singing choruses to charming sound bites.

True to his culinary roots, Action Bronson hosted an exclusive listening party for his debut album on Atlantic Records and Vice Records at SXSW, where he played host, chef and guest of honor – handing out trays of food he had cooked himself, a dish with pulled pork, cheese curds and potatoes – all while debuting the album’s sounds, giving fans and members of the press who were unable to attend serious FOMO (fear of missing out).

The first single from the album “Easy Rider,” which debuted back in August, falls last on the track list, showcasing even further that Bronson’s process is his own. He’s not reinventing his own sound or the style that we have seen in his musical past, but rather honing his signatures. It’s a great introduction and exposure to the mind of Bronson, similar to his earlier mixtapes and former releases.

bronson-mr-wonderful

Considering that Mr. Wonderful is a major label debut, Bronson still got to be Bronson, and that is the absolute rare truth and many would argue that that’s the dream acquired, right there. Bronson touches on this throughout some of the tracks, reflecting on his past life in Queens, New York and where he’s at now. Bronson’s idea of luxury is much different than other rappers, which is completely fitting for him as an artist and as an individual.

Speaking with Complex TV about his new album, Bronson shared,

I’m already successful, man. I’ve already gained a lot of success from making $500 a week in a f*ckin’ kitchen. You kidding me? I’m the definition of success that comes from that organically. I’ve made this myself. I didn’t know anybody in the rap game and the music game. Nothing. Nothing, no game. I didn’t know anyone in the game.”

Making his debut in 2011, following an injury incurred while working in a gourmet kitchen, that put him out of work and allowed him to focus on his sideline hobby, Action Bronson’s music career has been an interesting mix of a fantasy, hard, hard work and some good luck, and Mr. Wonderful is a testament to that. 

If you’ve seen an episode of Bronson’s VICE-sponsored F*ck, That’s Delicious you can learn how easy it is to be captivated by Bronson’s special brand of charm. The same attitude comes through on Mr. Wonderful and it’s rough around the edges nature fits in nicely with its funky, jazzy flows. Bronson is a story-teller, and does not disappoint with his latest chapter.

At this point in his career, he has proved that he can rap with the best of ‘em, and his recent freestyles and latest releases showcase with confirmation that Bronson is where he wants to be musically.

Stand out tracks include “Actin’ Crazy,” “Baby Blue” featuring Chance the Rapper, “Terry,” “City Boy Blues” and “The Rising,” featuring Big Body Bes. Other notable collaborators include Party Supplies and Meyhem Lauren.

Check out the video for “Easy Rider,” which pays homage to the 1969 film of the same name, and cop the album online.

Bronson is sure to win over new listeners with Mr. Wonderful, while not disappointing those already in his corner. 

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