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Action Bronson dishes on Canadian grub & explains why smoking pot is bad [Interview]

Edmonton, AB – Originally published May 4, 2014 – On Apr. 19, our friends over at Pearl Entertainment brought the first ever Iron Mic Music Festival to Edmonton. The festival’s debut saw a massive line-up that included a very massive Action Bronson. Bronson was third on the headlining roster for the evening. And he hit the YEG hard. Bronson is one-part foodie with a booty, one-part NY rap king, one-part VICE man, one-part father, one-part extreme facial hair growth of bearded treasure, and -of course- one-part dude who was in that Kotex tampon commercial that one time. All that, and Action Bronson is one of the most consistent performers in the game right now. I mean, I have to be honest with y’all – I didn’t actually start listening to Action Bronson until after I’d seen him live in Calgary last year. His live show turned me into a Bam Bam convert.

So we were itching to get to our Bronsolino interview at Iron Mic. (Spoiler alert: This was our Edmonton rep, Rosa Jason’s first interview – ever). So there we were; scrambling to get all of our interviews done. But Bronson was a hard man to get at. He was insistent on watching fellow headliner Ghostface’s entire set, sans interruption. And not only did he watch Ghost’s monstrous Wu Block set; but he actually took the time to give kudos to the festival attendees who went on stage to perform “Protect Ya Neck” alongside Ghost and Sheek Louch. So humble. So gentle giant-like. So Action Bronson.

Action Bronson dishes on Canadian grub & explains why smoking pot is bad [Interview] -

I’m the best father there is, and the coolest dad there is. ‘Cause I’m still a kid, myself. You gotta understand that.” – Action Bronson

But talk about realness; Action takes the time to give out daps where daps are due. Few people do. Too many rap cats inadvertently lose real-status because they’re too busy inundating us with PSAs about their realness. You know what I’m talking about. You go to a show and the MC hops on the mic like, “Y’all ready for some REAL hip-hop?” and then he loses all credibility. But Bam Bam could eat a dude like that for breakfast. Why? Because Action is the realest. And our interview with him was a bundle of joy.

Action Bronson: Q&A

Interview conducted by Sarah Sussman and Rosa Jason for HipHopCanada
Interview filmed and recorded by Randompath Media for Iron Mic Music Festival

Sarah Sussman: My name is Sarah Sussman.

Rosa Jason: And I’m Rosa Jason.

Sarah Sussman: We’re sitting here today with Action Bronson at Iron Mic Music Festival for HipHopCanada.

Action Bronson: Hello. Hello. Hi. Hiiii.

Rosa Jason: Welcome back. Welcome back. So how’s [this] time around, so far?

Action Bronson: Incredible. I can’t even believe it.

Rosa Jason: Last time you were here was back in September [2013] for the 2 High 2 Die Tour at Union Hall. [It was] definitely a smaller venue, compared to here, at the Expo Centre. What’s the comparison between the two demographics: performing at a club show versus a festival?

Action Bronson: [At] those club shows, everyone’s there to see you. [At] these types of things, there’s fans of all types of people. Some might not be fan of me, and might be a fan of Joey [Bada$$]. Or vice versa. Or only here to see MGK. Or only here to see Ghost. It’s cool. You get to hear every type of demographic there is. It’s fun. It’s good.

Sarah Sussman: Correct me if I’m wrong: today or tomorrow is your daughter’s birthday—Hannah? What are you doing to celebrate?

Action Bronson: It’s today –19th, right? She’s in Disneyworld right now chilling at the – some sort of f**king castle– I forget the name of it. She’s all done up; Cinderella-style. [I] treat her like the little princess that she is.

Sarah Sussman: Do you find it’s hard to balance being the rapper and the father?

Action Bronson: Yeah. It is what it is, though. How else can I pay for things if I don’t do the work? Then I’d be a scumbag. Then I’d be a deadbeat.

Action Bronson dishes on Canadian grub & explains why smoking pot is bad [Interview] -

Sarah Sussman: Are you the cool dad?

Action Bronson: I’m not the asshole, for sure. I’m the best father there is, and the coolest dad there is. ‘Cause I’m still a kid, myself. You gotta understand that. In my own mind, I think about certain situations and what goes on with [my kids] and I just laugh ’cause… I’m their father.

Rosa Jason: I want to touch down on your social media presence. Your YouTube collabs with VICE and Noisey are notorious. People can’t get enough of them. Whether you’re in the kitchen, or on the mic. So can you tell us a bit about how that relationship started with VICE?

Action Bronson: VICE – you know – they gave me a shot. There was a couple of companies that I was looking at that were very interested. VICE just seemed like the type of place for me. And I just went with it and things have been coming out just perfectly, as far as I’m concerned. All of the content is beautiful to me. The types of things – like the concert for the elderlies. That was probably one of my favourite things I’ve ever done in my life. That’s incredible to me. They had no idea; they were such sweethearts. Loud music scaring them. Just incredible.

Sarah Sussman: But at the same time, what’s it like to be putting your real life out there for people to see? To be vulnerable. [To be] – not necessarily – Action Bronson the rapper, but Action Bronson as Action Bronson?

Action Bronson: I put myself out there all the time. I’m just me. There’s no facade. I don’t get dressed up to do things. I don’t give a f**k about much. I just do what I do. I like music. I like art. That’s what I do.

Rosa Jason: And it’s cool [VICE is] very supportive of your career as a chef. Because that’s what you were before you started rapping. And they really showcase a lot of that talent too. So it’s really cool to see…

Action Bronson: …and we have a show coming up called Fuck, That’s Delicious! which is going to be me – while I’m on tour – going to all these places that I go to and [experiencing] all the food that I experience.

Sarah Sussman: What’s the best place you’ve been to in Edmonton, so far?

Action Bronson: [pauses] I haven’t been to many places. What the f**k did I eat? I forgot what I ate. [pauses]

Sarah Sussman: I saw that [Iron Mic] ordered pizza [for the artists]…

Action Bronson: No. I’m not eating pizza unless it’s in Chicago or New York. It’s not the same. I honestly don’t even remember. I don’t think we ate, yet. [pauses] What did we have? [pauses] Oh, we had f**king Fatburger like we could have at anywhere. But you got to put me on to something. I don’t know where to go. Tell me where I’m supposed to go.

Sarah Sussman: Whyte Ave. There’s this place [called The Next Act]… they have a burger…it’s got peanut butter on it. And the jam on it is made of bacon…

Action Bronson: It’s Elvis. It’s an Elvis Burger. Listen, I gotta to be honest with both of you. I’m sick of f**king burgers. Everyone is always like, “Yeah, this burger spot…” No, I don’t want a burger.

Action Bronson dishes on Canadian grub & explains why smoking pot is bad [Interview] -

Rosa Jason: Po’boys?

Action Bronson: I’ll do a po’boy.

Rosa Jason: DaDeO makes some sick po’boys on Whyte Ave. So…just keep that in mind.

Sarah Sussman: So what Canadian food do you like? 

Action Bronson: I love Maple Syrup. I love – obviously – I love poutine. I love foie gras; which happens a lot in Montreal. I don’t know… What’s a f**king Canadian dish? I’ll tell you if I like it…Moose? Moose asshole? [pauses] I’ve eaten 17 different animals in one sitting.

Sarah Sussman: …shit…

Rosa Jason: …shit…

Sarah Sussman: That’s better than I could do. So our Prairies Editor, Sarosh, can’t be here today. But he wanted me to ask you if your hipster haircut has assisted you in picking up the ladies.

Action Bronson: Well, I got a bad haircut in Australia which made me cut the locks. But it’s growing back rapidly. So I’ll have it back in no time for the summer. [The ladies] seem to like it a bit more. I don’t look as scary. I look softer and gentler…It’s all about being gentle.

Rosa Jason: I want to touch down a little bit on Kool G Rap. That’s one of your biggest idols in rap music. What is about his style that influences you so much?

Action Bronson: He just talks about hurting people a lot; and in a cool way. And [he talks about] things that he has, and he’s acquired, in the illest way possible. Him, Ghostface, Cam’Ron, Pimp C… That’s like…me.

Rosa Jason: Absolutely. And that whole bravado. A lot people don’t realize that kind of started with [Kool G].

Action Bronson: He’s the guy. He’s the guy with all that shit. And I don’t know what that bravado – what that means. It’s just that gangster shit. He’s just talking that Queens thug shit. It’s amazing.

Action Bronson dishes on Canadian grub & explains why smoking pot is bad [Interview] -

Sarah Sussman: I wanted to talk a bit about your stage antics. Because you’ve been known to do some wild shit on stage. What’s the deal with that?

Action Bronson: If you’re at motherf**king McDonalds and someone comes behind the register and starts f**king with you, what are you going to do? You saw what happened on Worldstar: that f**king [explicit] got beat to a pulp. With a f**king metal rod. Because she went behind and tried to act up. I’m not hurting people to the point where I could be [hurting them], but I’m just removing them because security seems to not act as quickly as they need to be. And it’s upsetting.

Sarah Sussman: What are the commandments for being an audience member at an Action Bronson show?

Action Bronson: You f**king just chill. Just chill out. You’re there to watch and f**king wild out in the crowd. But don’t try and come on stage. What’s the point of that? You just want to be seen, like, “Woaaahh. I’m on stage.” [pauses] That’s not cool.

Sarah Sussman: So tomorrow is 4/20. You already told us you’re going to be in Vancouver, in Canada smoking Canadian pot. Can you tell us about the most memorable moment you’ve had with Canadian marijuana?

Action Bronson: The first time I was in Vancouver, they had some f**king weed that was red. They crossed it with some sort of fruit punch, or some shit. They put Kool-Aid…I don’t know. It tasted crazy. It looked nuts. It was red. I don’t even smoke weed anymore. I just smoke oil; the concentrate.

Sarah Sussman: Why’d you stop smoking weed?

Action Bronson: It’s not good for you. No, honestly, because it effects my performances; when you inhale so much hot smoke and burning f**king leaves, it starts f**king with your throat. You get polyps. You get sore glands and…tonsillitis. It’s not fun. Trust me. When you can’t eat a sandwich; all you can do is eat ice because the back of your throat is on fire. You don’t want that.

Sarah Sussman: So before we wrap-up, here, I just want to get your thoughts on what it’s like to be here for such a momentous occasion for Canadian hip-hop.

Action Bronson: I feel incredible…I’m happy. I’m sad. I’m going to cry. I’m hungry. It’s a good day in Canadian hip-hop history.

Interview conducted by Rosa Jason and Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Interview recorded and filmed by RandomPath Media
Photography by Sarah Sussman and RandomPath Media

About Iron Mic Music Festival

Iron Mic is the first of its kind for Western Canada – it’s an indoor multi-headliner hip-hop festival offered to all ages. The festival is three parts in nature: it features headlining performances from internationally recognized artists. It provides an opportunity for local artists to gain some exposure. And it gives back to the community through charitable efforts. Iron Mic Music Festival was made possible through Pearl Entertainment’s partnerships with Nightshift, Mez Muzik, Dubsac, Jakmove, Diamond Kings Entertainemnt, IPartySask, and HipHopCanada.

Twitter: @ActionBronson | @NoiseyMusic | @IronMicFest

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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