A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

White Bronco: Action Bronson takes a familiar step


New York native Action Bronson released his self-described “very first indy project in a very long time” on Nov. 1,  after a year of radio silence.

Bronson fans will find “White Bronco” pleasantly familiar, with the artist playing to all of his well-recognized strengths. Drawing influence heavily from classic film soundtracks, always featuring a characteristic funky bass guitar line, each of Bronson’s tracks weave a story with hilarious punchlines and well-written hooks.

However, he doesn’t appear to learn from mistakes made on any of his previous ventures.  As lyrically inventive and masterfully produced as his songs are, many of the songs don’t run much longer than two or three minutes, leaving the listener hoping for more.

“White Bronco” kicks off with “Dr. Kimble,” a reference to Harrison Ford’s character in 1993’s “The Fugitive.” The instrumental samples a distorted guitar soloing over a drum kit beat, a staple for Bronson’s vintage sound. All the while he ad-libs the words “White Bronco” into the backgrounding, effectively disguising an intro track into a full-length song. As the song fades out, Bronson sings, “Tears fall out his eyes, tears fall out his eyes,” bringing the song full circle into the reference to The Fugitive.

Born in Flushing, Queens to an Albanian immigrant family, Action Bronson’s musical influences work their way into the album, sometimes subtly, sometimes not so much. Tracks like “Live from the Moon,” “Prince Charming” and “Telemundo” betray references to Latin and Caribbean culture.  Bronson’s East Coast style of hip hop has its own tell-tale characteristics, like the track “White Bronco,” which shares the album’s name. The track’s bass and drum lines bear resemblances to the work of Staten Island hip hop legends, the Wu-Tang Clan.

Bronson features several other artists on “White Bronco,” including Harlem’s own A$AP Rocky. Rocky appears on the album’s final track, “Swerve on Em,” to great effect. While the instrumental is less classically influenced than Bronson’s style, it suits Rocky, whose voice flows quicker over the synth and hi-hat heavy track. While the lyrics are prideful and boast the pair’s success, Bronson casts doubt on his own ego, uttering the words, “Baby just notice me, just notice me.”

Bronson takes a minute to look inwards at himself mid-album with “Prince Charming.” The sample is slower and dreamier and matches his flow perfectly. A master at setting mood, he reflects on his own success with lyrics like; “It only took me nine tries to make a debut, ten times the charm.” Looking outwards at the people he surrounds himself with, Bronson raps, “We’ll see who loves me when I need a liver.”

While he uses many of the tracks to joke about his own success, tracks like these show us a more contemplative side.

“White Bronco” feels like an open letter to his own success. Action Bronson takes his opportunity to celebrate his success and gather his friends without forgetting to take care of the man beneath the tattoos. Bronson fans will be happy to add “White Bronco” to their collection and playlists, regardless of flaws.

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About the Contributor
Séamus Reed
Séamus Reed, Arts & Entertainment editor
Seamus Reed is the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Oak Leaf. 2019 is his third year at the JC.

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  • J

    Jett WilliamsDec 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    This review is 🔥