Viva la Bam Bam: Action Bronson live in L.A. [Review] #HHCLA
Los Angeles, CA – Every once in a while hip-hop gives birth to something so fresh and original, that all you can do is love it or hate it. Well, mother hip-hop birthed a 300-pound beast of child and his name is Bam Bam (aka: Action Bronson). Bronson came to Los Angeles to perform at Echoplex on Feb. 6. Regardless of his messed up ankle, to say that Bronson hit the crowd with “ The Dropkick Marty Jannetty” would be an understatement.
Going to an Action Bronson show is like taking Ghostface Killah, Robin Williams, Fishbone and Cheech and Chong; putting them all in The Muppets’ Chef’s blender, and drinking the end-product. There is a whole lot of genius in that mix. But you don’t know if the outcome is going to make you piss yourself with laughter and amazement, or puke your brains out in shock.
Action Bronson’s Blue Chips 2 Tour has seen Bronson go from coast-to-coast. He’s whooped security ass for trying to stop him from smoking on stage, thrown pounds of weed into crowds, body-slammed fans attempting to disrupt his show, rhymed with his mother under his arm. And to top that all off, he’s even thrown a midget off stage (like a football) – not once, but twice.
Don’t start to think, here, that Bronson is any kind of gimmick artist relying on shock value. His antics are just a side-dish to the lyrical feast he prepares nightly for the truest of the true of underground hip-hop connoisseurs. He’s continually proven that he’s capable of keeping you hooked on his every word with his imaginative verbal skill. Nothing proves this more then the support cast of that came out to the Echoplex to help Bam Bam on his LA stop: Wiz Khalifa, Mack Miller, Ab-Soul, and Meyhem Lauren all jumped on stage with Action. Legendary producer, Alchemist, was also in the building.
Bronson’s track selection for the night was mostly taken from his recent free mixtape release entitled Blue Chips 2 (produced by Party Supplies), as well as the Harry Fraud-produced Saaab Stories EP. Tracks like “The Don Cheeks” and “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” were all trumped by the performance of “Contemporary Man.” The track samples Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” and “Another Day in Paradise,” John Mellencamps’ “Jack and Diane,” and Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam and Full Force’s “I Wonder If I Take You Home.” And it samples all of these tracks into one beat. The average MC would find it difficult to give any of these samples credibly with their lyrical skills. But when you can spit lines like, “I remember back when they wouldn’t spend a stack on my rap/ Now they want to wipe my ass in the crack after I shat/ And I just had corn beef hash” (from Bronson’s “9.24.13”), then you have creative license to do whatever the hell you please.
At one point in the show Action told the crowd “I gave you my heart if you want more I need to hear you.” And that what the rap game needs: more cats with love and heart for the culture, not just the money that come along with the fame. Viva la Bam Bam!
Photography and review by Maxwell Benson for HipHopCanada