“F— Kenny G!” Action Bronson playfully exclaimed halfway through his performance at New Balance‘s TCA New York City Marathon Kick-Off Party on Friday night (Nov. 3). The Queens rapper wasn’t really throwing shots at the Grammy-winning smooth jazz saxophonist, he was simply singing the praises of Matt Carrillo (aka Young Mexico), the incredibly impressive saxophonist and keyboardist that served as one of the main anchors of the band’s whimsical set.
At New Balance’s TCA New York City Marathon Kick-Off Party, sports and hip-hop continued their decades-long convergence as Action Bronson helped celebrate the imminent 26.2-mile race, as well as the latest evolution in his partnership with sports footwear giant New Balance.
After Adidas unexpectedly canceled his UltraBOOST collaboration back in 2019, Bronson teamed up with New Balance, officially announcing a new multi-item collaborative capsule with the brand back in March. Among the items in the capsule were the New Balance 990v6 “Baklava” sneaker. A few months later, a second 990v6 sneaker — named “Lapis Lazuli” — arrived exclusively on Bronson’s specializinginlife.com website (Jun. 22), receiving a global release on Jun. 30.
“I’m just enchanted by nature,” Bronson mused backstage before his performance. “Nature’s beauty. It’s natural beauty. It’s whimsical. It’s like stranger than fiction.”
Given the forest green hues and deep blues that appear across his different colorways, Bronson’s relationship with all of nature’s gifts truly inspired the design of his New Balance collaborations. Finding a home with New Balance was a special journey after the less-than-favorable way his Adidas partnership dissolved, but “I’ve been a New Balance guy for years, way before any of this other s—,” Bronson explains. “I’ve come from a family of f—ing chubby feet, flat feet, where you need a good walking shoe and something with stability and comfort as well as performance. This provides all three for my type.” To further explain, Bronson likened his foot type to “a triangle slice of pizza.”
During his set, Bronson tore through lively renditions of “Latin Grammys,” “DMTri,” and “Baby Blue,” allowing his five-member band to riff to both their heart’s desire and the audience’s pleasure. Embodying the whimsy he attributed to nature, Bronson delivered a characteristically charismatic stage show that even featured him literally touching his toes onstage and adding idiosyncratic percussion flourishes.
Cocodrillo Turbo, Bronson’s last studio effort, arrived last year, but the Billboard Hot 100 hitmaker is already formulating his next LP, although he’s purposely keeping his plans lowkey. “Lots of things [are] coming in the new year,” he teased. “Exciting things if you can’t tell how excited I am. I’m just stoned!”
The TCS NYC Marathon launches on Sunday (Nov. 5) at 8:00 a.m. EST.