Action Bronson and Harry Fraud have been a solid collaborative duo for quite some time, but SAAB Stories takes their chemistry to another level. The show begins with “72 Virgins,” which features an anxious verse from Bronson and some hilarious shit-talking antics from Big Body Bes. Fraud uses a guitar sample to build a cautious soundscape, as if danger is lurking, but that vibe is discontinued on “Triple Backflip,” a wake-up song of sorts that features Bronson flowing arrogantly over a dreamy instrumental. The chorus is a little bizarre, but Bronson pulls it off with ease.
“Triple Backflip” is followed by “No Time” a catchy track with a solid hook and a subtle boom bap. The song is very rewarding upon multiple listens, especially if you note how Fraud layers the track with so many instruments; it would probably sound amazing with a live band. Towards the end of the track, Big Body Bes reappears to answer important questions like “What type of bitches you like?” and “How many dope fiends you been locked up with?”
For “The Rockers,” Bronson recruits Wiz Khalifa. On paper, Wiz’s kush raps may seem out of place, but he and Bronson actually sync well. When combined with Fraud’s evil xylophone loop (there’s few other ways to describe this instrumental), Wiz’s aggressive flow morphs the track in a way Bronson’s flow doesn’t. That isn’t to say that Whiz out-raps Bronson; his different approach to the beat just amplifies how intense the instrumental feels.
“Strictly 4 My Jeeps” probably has the best instrumental of the project. What’s interesting is that Bronson reps Queens all day, but Fraud’s horns and drums give the track a Beastie Boys feel. Even on the remix to this track, which features Queens vets LL Cool J and Lloyd Banks, that Brooklyn sound bangs (Fraud is from Brooklyn). SAAB Stories ends with “Seven Series Triplets” (the title refers to BMW’s; Bronson loves cars if you haven’t noticed by now). Prodigy and Raekwon provide backup for the final track, confirming Bronson’s place among the greatest emcees and Fraud’s place among the most innovative producers.
Overall, this was a great project. The only downfall to SAAB Stories was that it was seven tracks long, but that’s how EPs work, so it’s an acceptable flaw. Fraud and Bronson are clearly in good shape. The two of them together are like Missy and Timbo during the glory days (early 2000’s). Hopefully the good music shall continue.
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