Action Bronson – SAAAB Stories EP Review

Just as his name suggests, Action Bronson’s persona is more than a straight hip-hop artist. He is a movie character conveyed through rhyming. The act lends itself to Bronson’s heavy use of storytelling in his music and narrative style to his less structured songs. He tows the line between a successful flashy gangster and low-class street urchin. The rich/poor dynamics of style add to the creativity of his raps and make for an entertaining listening experience. SAAAB Stories is no exception to the rule as Bronson gives another glimpse into a day in the life. With only seven songs clocking in under a half an hour, SAAAB is a concentrated dose of Action. His past releases have never been very long but the brevity of the EP is almost criminal considering the quality of sound.

He hits us with various subjects in a short time and creates some real gems. ‘No Time’ is a feel good song about living the high life in the here in now. ‘Strictly 4 My Jeeps’ hits hard and fast with Bronson rhyming along with the quick-paced instrumental. The biggest surprise comes from ‘Alligator’ which starts off as a typical trap song but flips into an account of a neighborhood good-girl-gone-bad. Bronson’s ability to move seamlessly through these different themes all while maintaining his signature flow and sound is noteworthy and much appreciated in a genre of music dominated by one-dimensional artists.

Besides his unique style and sound, Action Bronson is also known to collaborate with quality producers (see Blue Chips with Party Supplies and Rare Chandeliers with Alchemist). This project is handled by Harry Fraud, a young producer who is continually impressing listeners with his creative samples and smooth beats. He brings some of his best to the table with all seven songs of this EP sounding good. The instrumentation for ‘The Rockers’ in my opinion stands above the rest although anyone can make a solid argument for the other six. Another notable beat is found on ‘Strictly 4 My Jeeps’. The fast driving boom-bap of the drums lends itself well to the aggressive rhymes of Bronson mentioned above.

Even with such a small amount of music, Bronson manages to fit in some quality features. Big Body Bes does his usual hype work on the first track, ’72 Virgins’. Wiz Khalifa lays down some nice bars in ‘The Rockers’ while Prodigy and Raekwon add clout and bravado to ‘Seven Series Stories’. It should be said that all of these features complement Action Bronson’s efforts rather than overshadow them (which often the case for projects from less talented artists).

Fans of Action Bronson will love SAAAB Stories as it serves as a quick fix for well-crafted music until another official release comes. For those new to Bronson, this EP is a great sampler for what the man has to offer. With great rhyming over great beats, the only notable flaw is that Stories ends before listeners are ready for the ride to be over.

By Leland Gill

Leland Gill is an aspiring writer and doctor who lives life one day at a time and tries to see the deeper meaning in everything. His love for hip - hop is only matched by his love for comics and exercise.

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