I love Action Bronson’s music. Since the release of his breakthrough 2012 mixtape Blue Chips with producer Party Supplies, the enigmatic and fascinating artist has kept my interest with engaging and interesting projects, as well as his other creative endeavors. He is back with a brand new album titled Only for Dolphins, and it is as animated, colourful and engaging as his other releases. With production from the likes of Harry Fraud, Budgie, Samiyam, Daringer, Alchemist and Bronson himself, the album sounds eclectic yet perfectly sequenced and cohesive. It’s probably his wildest and most experimental album to date, which is testament to his talents as an artist and the ambitions of his vision.
I’m not entirely sure what the meaning is behind the dolphin sounds and the concept of the album as a whole, but it starts off with the anthemic and self-produced “Capoeira” a jazzy and dominant track featuring Yung Mehico that sets the tone for the entire project. His witty food-related rhymes are still prevalent throughout the album, such as on the cinematic and richly textured AntMan Wonder & DJ Muggs produced “Vega” – “My hash got me spinnin’ like a hula hoop
Couple noodles lose from the chicken noodle soup”. On the funky and infectious Samiyam-produced “Vega” he proclaims “Smash pussy like cantilope (Uh) / I’ll eat your cookies, fuck the Santa note, uh (Yeah, man) / It smells so good like mama cookin’ (Uh, uh, uh).” These witty bars are classic Bronson, and the way he is able to flow over these crazy beats is just incredible. Sonically, the album brings influences from Brazilian funk, Latin Jazz, Reggae and Middle Eastern music. The self-produced “Mongolia” featuring Mayhem Lauren and Hologram is an example of this. That instrumental is mental, and again, his ability to flow effortlessly with intent and charisma is what makes it a standout track. My personal favourite however is the Budgie-produced “Golden Eye”. The crazy sampling and effects throughout this beat, the groove and reggae sample… this one slaps. And he references everything from the Diaz brothers (UFC fighters) to “Twenty Kawasakis looking like wild horses on stampede / I look like a character that was drawn by Stan Lee / Strength like Žydrūnas Savickas, speed of a crackhead / Took five minutes to get from here to Baghdad (from Queens)”. His crazy references are fascinating to me and gives me something to research while listening. And they’re hilarious as well. His sense of humour shines through, but more importantly I think his rapping ability has improved over time. The funky and jazzy closer tracks “Marcus Aurelius” (produced by Daringer) and “Hard Target” (produced by Yung Mehico & Harry Fraud) are incredible. The latter one is a beautiful, reflective moment on the album that is a fitting way to conclude what was a fun and engaging listen.
Action Bronson continues to impress, and with Only for Dolphins, released an animated, colourful and witty body of work that sounds equally as captivating as it does fun. Definitely one to check out and support!