Courtesy of Vice Records
In a genre that takes itself too seriously, it is refreshing to hear a blowhard that compliments himself to the degree of hilarity. Action Bronson is that rapper. He constantly calls himself gorgeous and uses facetious one-liners that warrant at least a chuckle.
Even the name of his album, Mr. Wonderful, is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. In an interview with radio station Power 105.1, Bronson explained his mother used to call him these names when he would act up.
Action Bronson was a respected gourmet chef in Queens, NY until he decided to follow rap after breaking his leg in his kitchen. Bronson’s past puts an interesting spin on his music because he throws out random lines about the exotic foods that he cooks for fun.
Mr. Wonderful is Bronson’s third studio album even though it is his first album to come out after signing with Vice Records. It really is something different from his past projects. There is not a traditional hip-hop beat on the project and some of the songs are not even rap. With this album, Bronson takes his career down a whole new path that no one expected.
The first few seconds of the first song clearly show Bronson’s classic style. He sings completely off key, “I got a brand new car!” The song as a whole is not great, but it does well to get the ball rolling.
The song “Actin Crazy” is only relevant for its one funny line “Now these motherf*****s all wanna be chubby.” Bronson pulls off his persona so well that he is inspiring other children to become fat just like him because they see it as something cool.
The middle of the album takes a dip in mood. It is a time when Bronson talks about all his woes and burdens.
The songs “City Boy Blues” and “The Light in the Addict” are morose tales about being rich. “Baby Blue” is the best to come out of this melancholy respite because of its staccato piano beat instrumental. The song’s highlight is Chance the Rapper’s verse when he resentfully wishes his ex to “always [have] snow in [her] driveway” and to get “the zipper on [her] jacket stuck.”
The song “Only in America” features some funny lines that emasculate Bronson’s competition. He says that other rappers “tie [their] hair in a bun and shirt in a knot” and that their “father[s] never played catch” with them. The following song, “Galactic Love,” has an understated jazzy instrumental that Bronson rips through with lines about the “lechuga in [his] jeans” and how he “could walk under ladders and still win the lotto.” These songs have that “vintage Bronson feel.”
The best song on the album, “Easy Rider,” comes at the end. The song is almost like a treat for having listened through the whole album. The Turkish instrumental on this song is the weirdest one that Bronson has ever used. Although the song is a highlight, it was released months before the album; thus, it felt anticlimactic as a closer.
Mr. Wonderful is not Action’s best rap album. It is more of an experimental collage of different sounds. However, Mr. Wonderful is still worth a listen.