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Mr. Wonderful

Queens rap star makes a luxuriously weird major-label LP

Action Bronson

Alexander Richter

Action Bronson is so New York that four years into a successful rap career, he still imagines luxury as a subway ride through Queens. “Tell the pilot land the plane/on Roosevelt and Main/Put a jacuzzi on the 7 train and lay,” he commands on “Easy Rider.” These sort of tight, referential bars have earned Bronson plenty of Ghostface Killah comparisons, but Bronson’s major-label debut has a film-noir cool all his own — he’s the hardboiled AMC drama to the Wu MC’s exploitation flick.

This self-described “hunk of beef” might not solve any crimes, but he sure takes pleasure in making fun of those committed by others. “Your video’s like a Jewish summer-camp promo,” goes one of his most idiosyncratic disses. On the album’s best tracks (“Terry,” “The Rising”), he sounds like he’s rapping from the corner table of a smoky social club. Horns sit in the background while Bronson assures us that no indulgence is rich enough to satisfy him, no femme fatale enough to hold him down. “I’ll marry a ho,” he claims, “only if the bitch looks like Mary Monroe.” Wonderful.

In This Article: Action Bronson

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