There is no grand entrance here. No “NEW YORK CITY MUTHAFUCKA,” at all. It’s almost like ambient rap. We’re not listening to a collection of songs, so much as an hour or so of raps with different beats. Bronson and Party Supplies aren’t building up a big monument to their throneliness and asking us to watch it. They’ve built a throne room and spread out a feast in it for us. No one is tellin you what to eat first, or where to sit. There is very little regard here for the more tangible effects of structure. We’re not being spoonfed some pre-chewed slop. This album probably could start on any one of its tracks, and still wind up sounding the same. And that’s because it’s not about the songs on the record, but the way that the sounds on the record give us an approximation of Bronson and Party Supplies’ lives. And further, it’s about the way that those sounds have not been inhibited. Bronson and Party Supplies have done away with the hip hop conventions of late, and opted instead to just make some art out of sounds and words. It’s not an easy feat to accomplish, but Bronson and Party Supplies have pretty much made an unhinged rap record without even trying to. There is very little evidence to suggest that these dudes did anything beyond live their lives, do some drugs, and make some tunes for a hot minute.
Now that is by no means a new concept, but it rarely yields something this listenable. Bronson’s raps are dense enough that after multiple listens you’re still catching new stuff, but also approachable enough that an unattentive listen is still captivating. Party Supplies’ beats on the other hand, are very straightforward, and as soon as you hear them you’re getting the full picture. And while straightforward can sometimes translate to boring, in Party Supplies’ case it’s much more the means for creating tunes that ride on a feeling moreso than a testament to their composer’s skills. They’ve reached this casual high ground on the strength of their ability to abide only the conventions they choose, and totally do away with the ones they feel are not productive. Doing a song until you get it without errors? Not a necessity for Bronson. I’m an incredibly shrewd rap critic too, but when Bronson flubbed a line on 9-24-11, then re-did it I didn’t balk. It was almost like I was listening to a Phil Elverum record. No time to care about conventions that are attempting to contain an artist busy overflowing the whole thing. And that whole taking a step back, and choosing what to do is basically the strong suit for this duo. They’ve found an engaging way to sidestep all the circumstantial bullshit that bogs down music with non-musical things. The result is a bunch of songs that don’t play by the rules, and overflow the categories that they’re supposed to fit into.
Action Bronson is a larger than life personality, witty, unapologetic, hilarious, et cetera but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. There are thousands (probably tens of thousands) of guys like that in New York City (they breed them). Dudes who seem to overflow whatever space you put them in, dudes that seem to bust up the room no matter who’s in it. I’m sure you probabaly even know a few. Where Bronson is flat out of the ordinary though, is in the company of other rappers. While most rappers create an identity in rap, and then make music that supports that identity, Bronson simply steps back and lets his larger than life personality fill in, and overflow the songs. From rare meats, to raw hooliganism, to a wild sense of humor, to obscurist nerdish facts Bronson really runs the gamut when it comes to content. The result is an inarguably monumental NY Style, that has more to do with New York in New York than New York in rap. Blue Chips is the most recent in a growing discography, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it feels like the strongest depiction of Bronson yet. The record cites mid 90′s hip hop with an immaculate precision, but then obscures its own citation through the flippant permutations of the internet age of rap. If this record is happening in the present, then it should be hailed as proof of god by all those folks livin in the past, and revered as a holy grail by all those foks livin in the future. Very very nice work dudes.