Action Bronson is quite unlike any other rapper. After breaking his leg in a kitchen accident, he decided to leave the culinary world behind and put his rhyming skills to work just five years ago, so it’s fair to say that he has come a long way in such a short space of time. Since releasing his major label debut, the eclectic Mr. Wonderful in March, and becoming a food critic with his own show, Fuck, That’s Delicious via Vice, it’s no surprise to see The Academy sold out and filled to the brim with eager fans vying to catch a glimpse of one of the most entertaining hip hop artists of the moment.
Opening sets from his fellow Queens native, Meyhem Lauren, and longtime producer and collaborator, the Alchemist, suitably get the ball rolling and we’re amply excited for what’s to come. As soon as Bronson strides on stage, it’s clear from the look on his face and the reception he gets from the crowd that this was the role he was born to play. Action Bronson is a showman, completely in his element with a command and presence that live up to the stature of his character.
It is during the tracks from his debut album that Bronson seems most energised. Whether it’s the rugged playfulness of ‘Falconry’, or the smoother singalong of ‘Baby Blue’, Action bellows out his ridiculous imagery by the bucketload. His voice is incomparable in terms of power and volume and, as such, affirms the fact that voice altering and vocal backing tracks are not a necessity in a hip hop live show, despite what other artists might have you think.
The short running time of the set allows for more tracks but less interaction, which is a surprising trait for someone who is known for being so charismatic. It would have been entertaining to hear him crack a few more jokes, but an extended run of ‘Amadu Diablo’ into ‘Give Me One Reason’ by Tracy Chapman makes up for the lack of laughs with simply great music. While it was never in doubt, Bronson makes it a point to affirm his self appointed ‘Mr. Wonderful’ title with storming performances such as this one.