Exclusive Interview: Weed, Wrestling & Rare Chandeliers With Action Bronson
“I’m gonna force people to like this because it’s amazing.”
Everything Action Bronson does stands out in hip-hop. While it’s easy for you to stand-out when you’re hovering around 300lbs and have a beard that rivals Karl Marx, the music is his most attention-grabbing quality.
The soon-to-be 28 year-old from Flushing, Queens has released a steady supply of music over the last few years, including the widely-praised Dr. Lecter in 2011. He’s not quite familiar with the phrase “Quality over quantity,” now set to drop his fifth project in two years. The truth is, few would argue any haven’t been up to snuff.
Rare Chandeliers, produced entirely by The Alchemist, arrives on November 15. Now, fresh off lunch with his mother at the Jewish deli–he had half a corned beef sandwich and half a pastrami sandwich with a matzo ball soup, in case you were curious– the Albanian MC discusses the album, his love for mary jane, and his major label debut.
Off the bat, I got to ask you about the Rare Chandeliers cover. It’s wild. What was the inspiration for that?
That was the old blaxploitation movie posters and movie posters in general. I just figured we’d get the most outlandish shit and get it painted up and have it look cool.
You and Alchemist have worked together before, but what was it like making an entire album together?
It’s not even work, it’s just fun. It’s just creativeness, sitting around, joking around, laughing. It’s good times, good vibes in the studio. Just having fun.
There were reports that [former WWE wrestler] Batista was supposed to direct the video for “The Symbol.” What ever happened with that?
Well, we worked on it and it just didn’t work. They’re great guys [but] it was just better [that] we went the way we went because it was amazing. Rik Cordero did a fucking tremendous job.
Why exactly didn’t it work out?
He was working a lot. His Iron Fist movie was coming out and he didn’t really have a lot of time. Well, we all didn’t have a lot of time. We just tried to bang it out and it just wasn’t gonna work out.
It’s no secret you’re a big wrestling fan, who was your favorite wrestler growing up?
My favorite wrestler growing up was definitely Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man, Bret Hart. My favorite all-time is Bret Hart.
I’m from Montreal. I was in the arena the night that screwjob happened.
That’s fucking ridiculous. Did you spit?
[Laughs.] I was 8 years old, I had no idea what was happening.
You should’ve spit on someone, man.
Well, Triple H is my favorite wrestler. I couldn’t spit on him, but maybe Vince [McMahon] would have deserved it.
Yeah, he’s a piece of garbage.
I noticed you have 2 Colorado dates for the tour. They just legalized marijuana. That can’t be a coincidence, right?
[Laughs.] As a matter of fact, I think it is a coincidence, but I’m happy as a pig in shit right now. Anywhere that allows weed to be legal and for me to do my own drug, I’m fucking happy. Believe me.
So L.A. is agreeing with you, with the weed card?
I don’t have a card, but L.A. is definitely my shit. I love it.
You don’t have a card? Come on, you have anxiety because you’re on tour all the time.
Yeah, my back hurts. [Laughs.]
Being that you’re a drug connoisseur, how does it feel to have your own G Pen now?
It feels great. I feel wonderful. I’ve had a bunch of these pens, they send me the prototypes of all these other ones that they’ve had before. It’s just like the best fucking invention ever. It’s so simple and you get fucking rips. You get straight up rips out of this little pen.
That’s the symbol that you’ve arrived. Endorsement deals. What other product do you want to see your face on?
Honestly, I’m not even gonna say anything funny because I want that seriously. I’m not sure. I would have to think about that. I’m too stoned and trying not to get pulled over. But we’re in talks with some people. You’re gonna see me on TV, hopefully, see me in movies.
You got your acting on in “The Symbol.” Movies is the next step for you?
We’re trying to get that made into a little short film. Hopefully that’ll be done this upcoming year.
Rare Chandeliers is almost out now. Talk to me about the recording process.
I’ve obviously been a fan of Alchemist for years. He hit me up and we clicked, became friends [and] started recording. I went out to L.A. and did what we had to do. Actually, I went out to L.A. and he was leaving for tour with Mobb [Deep] and we literally did one song quickly before he left. Then I came back, stayed for a week-and-a-half, banged out like 15 joints. Came back again, banged out like another 10.
[We] just been working consistently. I fell in love with L.A., just the feeling out there. I’m obviously away from my normal zone, so I feel free out there.
Is it easier to work like that? Fresh atmosphere, fresh ideas?
I’ve pretty much done everything in the confines of where I’ve been for 28 years. It’s just something new, other things you didn’t know were there that you need to progress as an artist and a person.
How deep are you into your debut now?
I have countless songs. I have hundreds of songs. Now, it’s just picking the right ones. I’m still recording. I have a list down to about 15 or 16 songs that I’m ready to go with.
You have an idea for when that’s coming out?
I think March-April.
Have you settled on a title yet?
Nah, not yet. I don’t wanna rush it. I wanna make sure that it’s right. You don’t get a second chance at your first shit.
And you wanna let Rare Chandeliers breathe, too. This is basically a free album.
Exactly. I feel terrible that I had to put [Alchemist] through the fact that I’m giving it away but things are gonna happen on the other end of it. It generates money without being sold.
You didn’t go into the studio with the idea of this being for free, right? You were making an album and then decided to give it to the fans?
I don’t think about that because I’m still brand new. I don’t really go into the studio thinking about, “I’m gonna do this song. Am I gonna sell it?” We just went in and worked. We have so many songs and we have a fucking amazing project and you see what happens when you give away certain things.
For me, it’s generated a lot more than me trying to go out there and push it independently and sell it myself. I’d rather give it away and reap the spoils of everybody having it and everybody loving it and then getting shows and everything that’s directly connected with that.
What kind of producers do you have on the debut?
I got my people. I got Harry Fraud, my homie Party Supplies, my brother Tommy Mas. Alchemist. Statik Selektah. Oh No. I’m not trying to go with the regular, everyone’s-album-sounds-the-same-because-they-have-the-same-producer-type people. I’m gonna go with the people that I like and the music that I like without trying to please everybody. I’m gonna force people to like this because it’s amazing and not just the same old bullshit over-and-over again.