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Action Bronson knows his roles and he plays them all well. The New York native has a lengthy resume filled with all types of highlight placements. On the music scene, he boasts a collection of projects, including work with talented producers like Harry Fraud, Statik Selektah, and The Alchemist. He’s ventured into the film & TV world with his own food travel show Fuck, That’s Delicious, and a nightly food talk show The Untitled Action Bronson Show. He also landed an appearance in the 2019 film, The Irishman. Meshing the beauties of his food world with that of the music world, Action Bronson fires up the stove and serves up a fantastic dish with his new album, Only For Dolphins.
Bronson described the Only For Dolphins title in a press release at the time of the album’s announcement. “The dolphin is one of the most intelligent creatures ever created on whatever planet we’re on,” he said. He also compared the underwater creatures to a “five-tool baseball player.” It’s this versatile attribute that Bronson soaks himself in and wrings out over the heads of his listeners on his new album. “Author, singer, dance, exotic olive oil taster,” he raps on “C12H16N2.” For Bronson, he has every reason to be confident. While some rely on the hanging pitch to get on-base, Bronson knows no matter what’s thrown his way, he’ll find a way to shine.
Only For Dolphins arrives nearly two years after Bronson’s last effort, White Bronco, a project that severely underwhelmed fans for reasons including its brief 26-minute duration. The project left many wondering if Bronson lost his touch, but these doubts are quickly erased on his new album. Every chef has had at least one bad dish and with Only For Dolphins, Bronson proves that’s all his 2018 album was. On his new album, Bronson regains his balance by gravitating back to his childhood passion, that being his food and cooking talents.
While the hip-hop world is often filled with dark tales about the streets and its dangers, Bronson opts to live elsewhere. Instead, he ties his songs to the flavor-heavy aroma of his trusty kitchen. His punchlines are placed with caution like a well-plated dish. He uses his love for all types of food to connect with listeners, drawing on different meals to help make sense of what he says. “My hash got me spinnin’ like a hula hoop,” he raps on “Vega.” “Couple noodles lose from the chicken noodle soup.” On “Cliff Hanger” he introduces a love interest and boastfully raps, “I’m in the shower with my Latin maid / That ass is hot, you could crack an egg and cook it.” By combining the two worlds where he thrives the best, Bronson’s confidence appears at double the dose.
Staying true to himself and the personality that he’s carried over the past decade, Bronson reassumes the role of the comical and at times out-of-pocket, yet appreciated, uncle on Only For Dolphins. Lovable with good intentions, Bronson is the relative who’s unable to refrain from saying all the wrong things around the kids. Using a reggae sample as his backdrop on “Golden Eye,” Bronson raps, “F*ck around and get your sea bass smothered. I’ll choke you the f*ck out like I’m a Diaz brother.” He later settles down as the threat is later juxtaposed on “Vega” when he says “I’m recognized as a standup guy by five families.”
Action Bronson sticks out like a sore thumb. While he holds no desire to operate like the rest of his rapping comrades, he aims for many of the fruits one can bear in this field. “I might not be able to touch my toes,” he says on “Latin Grammys.” “But I will still fuck these hoes.” One way or another, Bronson will get it done to continue enjoying the perks that he’s earned in his rap life over the last decade. This is exactly where his versatility comes into play. Whether it’s in the booth, in the kitchen, on the big screen, or some combination of the three in a medium of his choice, Bronson finds a way to keep his footing and press onward. The regained balance presented on Only For Dolphins is admirable and certainly worthy of a chef’s kiss to top it off.
Only For Dolphins is out now via Loma Vista. Get it here.