House of Blues
May 31, 2015
In less than five years, Action Bronson has catapulted himself into one of hip-hop's most passionate and charismatic heavyweights. Known to splice juicy metaphors and succulent life lessons into his rhymes, the former chef turned rapper has amassed a large following with his unmistakable Queens, New York, accent and attitude.
Earlier this year, after a string of successful mixtapes, Bronson released his debut full-length album, called Mr. Wonderful. He opened this show with the track "Actin Crazy," one of the first singles from the album. In it, he raps about how "opportunity be knockin', better let the muthafucka in." He seems to approach his career and life in that way, speaking his mind, eating right (and by right, I mean delicious and decadent, as seen in his Youtube series "Fuck, That's Delicious!") and generally performing in the manner in which you expect a New Yorker with the body of a WWE wrestler, a majestic beard and a sharp tongue to act...which is in your face and "fuck you, that's why."
Early on, the Houston crowd began to let out cheers of "Bronson! Bronson!" deeply motivated by the rapper's dedication to entertain. What I found really interesting was that Action spends much of his time onstage with his eyes closed, as if powering up the emotions and later releasing that passion into his rhymes. Fueled by a stop at Houston's Kenny & Ziggy's Deli earlier in the afternoon, there certainly was enough passion delivered on this Sunday night in HTown.
His bro Meyhem Lauren joined him onstage for "100 MPH" and "Jackson & Travolta" from the Blue Chips 2 mixtape. It was a strong and fierce interlude before he slowed it down and dropped his latest hit, "Baby Blue."
"You got to shake your fucking pussy and assholes right now" said Action as he led the crowd in a sing-a-long of the song's chorus. "After all that rapping, it's time for me to sing to y'all!"
Indeed, both the track and the video are impressive works of art. Smooth, smart, funny and extremely catchy. Although I may be one of the only people on Earth who thinks Chance The Rapper's verse actually devalues the song, the rest of it is damn near a masterpiece. And last night, he ended the track with a cover of the Biz Markie classic "Just A Friend." It didn't go down as smooth as it could have, but was fun and unexpected nonetheless.
The show ends in a little less than one hour, which may seem too soon but is actually pretty perfect. He leaves the stage to "Easy Rider" and returns to perform "Amadu Diablo" as the encore. All business, all heart and all real. You couldn't ask for much more from the chef.
Personal Bias: Been a fan of Bronsalino ever since he led a crowd at Numbers out of the venue and onto Westheimer during his first show in Houston.
The Crowd: A few Action Bronson Stans, mixed in with the 420 dudes and hypebeasts.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Let's get the fuck outta here!" — a couple dry-humping near the back bar, who couldn't wait to get back to their hotel room after only half the show.
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Random Notebook Dump: I had a dream recently that The Suffers covered "Baby Blue" with Bun B and Fat Tony providing verses to the track. It was glorious!
When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Marco points his camera lens toward the vibrant Houston Music scene and beyond. You can follow his adventures on Instagram: @MarcoFromHouston.