Over the past two years, Action Bronson has emerged as one of the sharpest, funniest and all-round best lyricists in the game. With a new signing to VICE/Warner Records the Flushing, Queens M.C. is leaving behind the rapper/chef label and heading for the big leagues (and not just in the clothing department). With his first full-length album on the way and mix tapes produced by Harry Fraud, Tommy Mas and The Alchemist, Bronson is set to make 2013 his year. Before that happens check out part one of my list of his 30 best songs, so you can say you were there first.
30. Amuse Bouche - This early cut from 'Bon Appetit...Bitch!' sets out Bronson's intentions from the beginning, whilst drawing heavily on his chef background.
Choice Lyric: "That was just a little sample, a little hors o'euvres, a little amuse bouche / Feel me."
29. Mr Songwriter - The catchiest of Bronson's tunes, Bam Bam spits over a sickly sweet track that will stay in your head for days.
Choice Lyric: "Peace to the ultimate warrior posted up in Astoria / Bronsolini is the name and when I rhyme it's euphoria"
28. Five Minute Beats, 1 Take Raps - Five minute beats, one take raps was the idea behind Bronson's 2011 joint with Party Supplies. Bronson's dedication to the music over gangster ballin' is laid out early.
Choice Lyric: "Five minute beats, one take raps/no fool story of my gunplay stats / drugs sit behind me, blunts stay fat/ Hand-craft the music, rhymes stay acoustic"
27. Dennis Haskins - Named after the actor behind Mr Belding from Saved By The Bell, Dennis Haskins is yet another example of Bronson's dedication to pop culture. Slow and short, it's the perfect song for cruising around on a lazy afternoon.
Choice lyric: "Like when my son drinks too much apple juice, loose / When he was four he got his dick sucked by a prostitute"
26. Hot Shots Part Deux - Bronsolinio's second collab with Riff-Raff is a lethargic slow jam, perfect for getting blazed to. The video is pretty cool too.
Choice Lyric: "Grapes, crackers, gorgeous cheese / Shifting gears left handed at mighty morphin' speeds"
25. Not Enough Words - Bronson spits over an urgent Statik Selektah track, considering the fine line between hustling and being caught by the law whilst in pursuit of paper and the finer things in life.
Choice Lyric: "If they make me take the stand then I'm lying through my teeth though / Ask to swear to God but in that I don't believe though"
24. Tapas - This 'Blue Chips' cut is anything but bite-sized with Bronson spitting rhymes that most rappers would struggle to get their mouths around. It's also one of many of Bronson's songs that will leave your stomach rumbling.
Choice Lyric: "I'm on the art and the food scene / fuck rap, laying back, eating poutine."
23. 9-24-11 - Sampling Dean Martin's Return To Me, Bronson's 9-24-11 perfectly captures the holiday spirit and invokes the whimsical comforts of the first Disney films with it's repeating 'Woohoo' hook. It's also a perfect example of how Action and Party Supplies' album was recorded, with Bronson's live mistakes included in the track.
Choice Lyric: "Sign my name with the feather, tap dance under the full moon / Smoking, drinking liquor for the fam that left us too soon"
22. Expensive Pens - Frank Zappa's twisting, ferocious guitar on this track is brilliantly matched by Action's flow. Both Action and fellow Queen's resident Meyhem Lauren go H.A.M, but this is ultimately Meyhem's track, and his verse takes the song to another level. Regardless, it remains one of Action Bronson's best.
Choice Lyric: "Motherfucker, you only kinda sick / I'm full blown like Tom Hanks in Philadelphia"
21. Contemporary Man - With this Party Supplies produced, shape shifting joint Bronson did nothing to shake off his '90s renaissance' label, but showed his skill set is as diverse as the production. The track also contains a rare and brief instance of Bronson singing.
Choice lyric: "Fuck the fag talk, save all that pussy shit for the catwalk / now write your name a hundred times on the blackboard / Just a white man excelling at a black sport"
20. Bird on a Wire - Rapping over a lethargic Harry Fraud production, Bronson's first joint with old pal Riff Raff caught him a lot of flack for dropping lines alongside the eccentric M.C. However, Riff Raff's verse changed many minds and if there was anyone left who doubted Bronsolini, his verse silenced anyone who dared question his skill set.
Choice Lyric: "All the beans are getting Boston baked / On thin ice I skate across the lake / With the CCM tacks, my feet are like Cassius / Smoke Premium cabbage"
19. Time For Some Action - One of the best tracks to come out of Bronson's work with Statik Selektah, Time For Some Action features a panoramic backing track over which Bronson spits about his high-rolling lifestyle. It's the sound of a rapper living the good life on the way to the top of the game.
Choice Lyric: "Already messin' with the people I respect up in the rap shit / Couple of months you probably see me with an actress"
18. Ron Simmons - Never has there been a verse to get stomachs rumbling more than Bronson's first verse where he raps about everything from gipsy salami cheese to whole grain mustard. It's also the first time Bronson addresses the comparisons to Ghostface Killah.
Choice Lyric: "While you can catch me out in Spain on the coast, dick / Don't ever say my fucking music sound like Ghost's shit"
17. Meteor Hammer - Going a step further to address the comparisons with Ghostface Killah, Action risked being forever crowned a rip-off by appearing alongside the Clan member himself along with Termanology. Fortunately, Bronson more than holds his own, establishing himself as not just a threat to Ghost's title, but to everyone in the game.
Choice Lyric: "I was born to rep / You fucking with a hornet's nest / Old shooters in the corner like hornacek"
16. Pouches of Tuna - The first track on Action's album with Party Supplies, Pouches of Tuna announces Bronson as a rapper who will do things his own way. Strings begin the song and are in no hurry and neither is Bronson as he scraps the first attempt at the verse "I didn't like that one." A bold move for a rapper on the first verse of the first track of an album.
Choice Lyric: "Been on the honor roll, sculptures of my body out in Nagano / My shawty features like Madonna, Lo designer"