Published Mar 18, 2015It was May 2014 when Action Bronson first tweeted the name of his upcoming album, and since then, the rap world has been anticipating Mr. Wonderful, the Queens, NY rapper's long-awaited major label debut. Ten months later, on March 24, that 13-track offering will be released on Vice/Atlantic.
The follow-up to Bronsolini's 2012 Alchemist-produced album Rare Chandeliers (and the 2013 mixtape Blue Chips 2) is set to mark the eccentric MC's elevation from the independent underground to a larger musical plateau and Bam Bam is ready.
"[Mr. Wonderful] represents a coming out and people recognizing my work in the underground, and now it's finally getting a chance to show what I've got on a bigger level," Bronson tells Exclaim!
From mixtapes and EPs to indie albums and his online Vice food series Fuck, That's Delicious, the New York spitter has secured his position as one of hip-hop's most charismatic wordsmiths and unpredictable performers since he made the decision to quit his career has a gourmet chef and turn to music.
But he's no longer just the funny guy, as Mr. Wonderful holds a more sentimental slot for the MC this time around. "It 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.
As Noah "40" Shebib, the Alchemist and Mark Ronson offer production credits on the forthcoming album, Chance the Rapper, Meyhem Lauren, Big Body Bes, Party Supplies and Chauncey Sherod claim guest spots throughout the tracklist (which Bronson has teased with singles "Baby Blue" and "Actin Crazy"). The self-proclaimed "life's work" is set to give new life to a Billy Joel sample on the project opener — which was cleared after Bronson and Mark Ronson convinced the legendary songwriter to lend them his blessing with a hand-written note — before Bronson has chosen to fittingly end his legacy-leaving project with "Easy Rider," the single he exclusively shares is the song he wants played at his funeral.
Because beyond Action Bronson's eccentricities and provocatively entertaining lyrics lies a rapper ready to showcase the significance of his artistry and passion for music with his forthcoming release. He boasts about his fixation of psychedelic music and his obsession with foreign sounds, Billy Joel and Carlos Santana, as it's his large library of genre-bending influences that has secured him in a lane of his own and made Mr. Wonderful such an anticipated project.
"All these little nuisances in music just make me freak out," he says. "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."