About Action Bronson
“Heavyweight primate with a Harvard mind/Blunts filled with the citrus mixed with orange lime.” And with that, the world was introduced to Action Bronson: the Queens-bred rapper, son of an American Jewish mother and an Albanian Muslim father, and man of infinite appetites who slipped on a wet floor while working as a cook, broke his leg, and decided to focus on writing rhymes instead. Within the first few minutes of his debut, 2011’s Dr. Lecter, Bronson (born Ariyan Arslani in 1983) established himself as absurdly larger than life, somersaulting out of helicopters, daydreaming about subway trains with hot tubs, eating food you’d never heard of in amounts you couldn’t imagine—or, as he put it on “Ronnie Coleman,” “Life is a smorgasbord to me, and I’ma overdo it.” If some rappers fashioned themselves after gangsters and movie villains, Bronson was an X-rated cartoon character or a pro wrestler—a volcano-like exaggeration of ego. In his lyrics, a simple image could be flipped into something decadent and surreal, at once super-specific—“I’m butt naked with the Uzi on Broadway/My haircut is like Dominican folk art” (on “Irish Freestyle”)—and intoxicating to imagine.
After Dr. Lecter, Bronson honed his skills on a series of mixtapes before making the leap to a major label for 2015’s Mr. Wonderful, followed by Blue Chips 7000 in 2017 and White Bronco the following year. Meanwhile, he parlayed his charisma—and epicurean curiosity—into a healthy career as a TV and internet personality, hosting two loose, food-oriented talk shows, F*ck, That’s Delicious and The Untitled Action Bronson Show, as well as writing two books, one based on F*ck, That’s Delicious and another, Stoned Beyond Belief, about, well—guess. While his pen has sharpened over the years, his sound has remained pretty consistent: simple, funky, soulful, a little throwback—a basic backdrop for a dense lyrical projection, one of the most effortlessly entertaining personalities to step into the arena in the 2010s.