Published Mar 24, 2015Action Bronson is rap's Mr. Wonderful. Since independently emerging on the hip-hop scene in 2011, after making the drastic decision to leave his promising career as a gourmet chef behind him, the Queen's rapper has all but legally trademarked himself as rap's leading charismatic comedian, unpredictable performer and provocative wordsmith with each career-defining decision. Whether by dropping genre-clashing mixtapes like the Blue Chips series, or performing power-bombing wrestling moves to concert-goers mid-performance, the eccentric MC has consistently maintained headline-worthy attention, while holding onto an unconventional place in the rap world that none has dared to tackle.
To only further solidify his place among the top tier rappers, the New York artist released his major label debut Mr. Wonderful this March, as a representation of his earned elevation from the underground to a larger musical plateau. "[Mr. Wonderful] means everything to me. It's a life's work. But it's not the end, and it isn't the beginning. It's just another beautiful piece to my legacy," he says.
With a second season of his Vice Munchies series Fuck That's Delicious and a worldwide tour in the works, along with a headlining slot at North By North East this summer, Action Bronson is gearing up to reap the kinds of wonderful rewards that he's worked for.
What are you up to?
I'm just getting ready to drop my debut album, Mr. Wonderful, finally. And I never stop working musically. I always keep it moving. I'm just anxious and eager and ready to get this done. I'm ready for people to hear the full product.
What are your current fixations?
My fixation is always with psychedelic music. Piano solos, guitar solos, and all crazy types of music. The way that the congas pan from left to right on Santana's album. It freaks my mind out when I listen to it in the headphones. All these little nuisances in music just make me freak out.
Why do you live where you do?
Because [Queens, NY] is where I'm from, this is what I know. That's exactly why I live here. I don't want to go change to a random place. This is where I'm from. I was made here.
Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art:
Music is a given for me. I love music that I've never heard before. When I discover a lot of foreign music, it makes me very happy. But I feel like the most incredible work of art, to me is D'Angelo's Voodoo. That album is just one thing to me that is very near and dear to my heart.
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig?
My most inspirational gig, man… every one was just so special. It's always special. But there is one that sticks out in my mind. In South Africa — Johannesburg — when I opened up for Eminem. That was fun.
What have been your career highs and lows?
I don't believe that I've had my highest of highs or my lowest of lows yet. I hope that I never see the lows and I hope that the highs just come in a major way for me. I never get too ahead of myself. I'm into just taking it day by day. One day at a time.
What's the meanest thing ever said to you before, during or after a gig?
People talk crazy to me all the time. I can't really think about what is said. People are mean, you know. When they are on the internet and stuff like that, they're mean.
What should everyone shut up about?
They should just shut the hell up, period.
What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?
Sometimes I'm very, very stubborn, hard-headed and very hard to penetrate, which is a little crazy. Sometimes I can't take that shit, but it is what it is. The trait that I love most about myself is I'm rational and I know when something is wrong and when something is right. I'm able to decipher quickly and I've been making good decisions.
What's your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Every Sunday I'm alive is a perfect Sunday.
What advice should you have taken, but did not?
Man, there are so many things. But you always have to make your own way in this world, so it is what it is.
What would make you kick someone out of your bed?
I like to sleep alone.
What do you think of when you think of Canada?
I enjoy Canada a lot. Toronto has seen some of my best shows. I've been all over Canada. Vancouver, Whistler. I've been up and down, east and west. It's a great place to be. It's a beautiful place.
What was the first LP/cassette/CD/eight track you ever bought with your own money?
Wreckx-N-Effect, the "Rump Shaker" single. That's the first thing I purchased with my own money.
What was your most memorable day job?
I've only had one day job, I worked at Key Food. I worked at Key Food in the day. Every other job has been being a chef or working construction.
How do you spoil yourself?
I spoil myself in the way I handle my accommodations. I don't really spend my money on stupid shit. I spend money on my comfort. That's what's most important to me. Comfort-ability.
What do you fear most?
I don't fear anything.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Mike Ditka, one of the coaches from the Chicago Bears. A long time ago, we had dinner and it was really fucking awkward to tell you the truth, because I didn't really know what to say to him and I think that he was intoxicated. Or who knows what the fuck it was, but it was a really weird encounter.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
I would love to have dinner with Carlos Santana. He's just one of my favourite people and a great musician. I would love nothing more than to just talk to him and pick his brain. Who knows?
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?