Bonnaroo Band of the Day: Action Bronson

Bonnaroo Artist | Action Bronson
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time: | The Other Tent | Sunday | 1:30PM

Bonnaroo-2013

With high profile hip hop artists like Wu-Tang Clan, Kendrick Lamar, and A$AP Rocky on the bill for this year’s Bonnaroo, it might be easy to overlook the impressive crop of less-prominent rappers who also found their way onto the lineup. It’s an undisputedly solid year for hip hop fans at ‘Roo, and one of the strongest up and comers to keep an eye on is Queens, NY’s Action Bronson. The rapper, born Arian Asllani to Albanian parents, made the transition from gourmet chef to hip hop artist in 2011, and has since been blowing up the underground scene with his old school New York rap revivalist style. Though Bronson is now signed to VICE’s Warner Bros. imprint, VICE Records, the rapper has yet to formally release his label debut, opting instead to self-release 2 albums and 4 mixtapes in under 2 years. This is extra impressive considering Bronson’s collaborations with the likes of Bun B, French Montana, Riff Raff, Danny Brown and, yes, fellow Bonnaroo acts A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, and members of Wu-Tang.

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Action Bronson is often compared to Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah, both for his stylistic tendencies and lyrical similarities. That comparison is certainly valid, but it sells Bronson’s artistic growth short. In just a couple short years and with a handful of releases, Action Bronson has transcended his NY retro sound that, yes, did resemble Ghostface, and has confidently found a distinctive identity of his own. Though his sound still has old hip hop tendencies, Bronson has managed to keep his music fresh, and infuses modern sensibilities and smart, sharp lyrics oozing in self-awareness and confidence. Also, if you’re looking for an even better stylistic comparison, Bronson bears more similarity to his idol Kool G Rap than he ever did to Ghostface. With a ton of new material coming down the pipeline, ever-growing associations with some of the best rappers in the game, and an explosive performance style, Action Bronson is about to have a HUGE year, and we’re naming him the hip hop artist not to miss at this summer’s Bonnaroo.

Listen | “Shiraz”

Watch | “The Symbol” (Official Music Video)

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