Queens rapper and gourmet food aficionado Action Bronson hit the Late Show With David Letterman Wednesday, marking the release of his major label debut, Mr. Wonderful, with a soulful performance of “Baby Blue” alongside Chance the Rapper.
Bronson was his typical gregarious self on the mic, rolling through the somber Mark Ronson-produced cut with a matter-of-fact ease that belied the ridiculousness of his boasts (“There were times I used to hide my feelings / Now I’m butt naked in the Lamborghini”). Chance the Rapper, for his part, kept it marvelously surreal, delivering a laundry list of petty inconveniences he hoped his ex-girl would suffer: “I hope you never get off Fridays, and you work at Fridays, and it’s always busy on Fridays.”
Mr. Wonderful arrived this week after an impressive streak of mixtapes that often found Bronson pairing with a single producer per project, such as Harry Fraud, Party Supplies and The Alchemist. The new LP boasts production from the latter two, as well as hitmakers like Ronson and Drake cohort Noah “40” Shebib.
Befitting the often outlandish nature of his rhymes, Bronson has also cultivated a ridiculous off-wax persona, whether he’s parodying movies like Coming to America and Easy Rider in his music videos, or stealing golf carts, rapping in festival Porta-Potties and tossing bags of weed and high-end electronics into the crowd.
Bronson recently dissected his most insane onstage moments for Rolling Stone, recalling one of his favorites, Bonnaroo 2013, where he performed sitting in an office chair: “There were so many people in the tent, it was so incredible, that I just decided that I had to sit down for a second,” Bronson said. “That joint I’m smoking: Someone threw it from the crowd, I was looking at it, I didn’t move, it fell right into my hand — so I had to smoke it.”