“Let me begin baby, my name is Bronsolino, all I see is C notes, silk shirts at the casino.”
If you copped the tape you already know; Blue Chips 2 is as luxuriously top class as the name suggests. I feel like I need a golden keyboard just to write this. It’s the audible equivalent of soaking up a seafront view from a 5 star balcony after a night of excess, wearing only a silk robe to feel the warm morning breeze buffer your balls. Bronson’s a king at hilariously overblown swank, he’s been regaling his fans with tales of upper class ass and the glamour and glitz of newfound rap stardom for a while now, and on this sequel to one of last year’s best mixtapes he’s upped the ante and gone all in. Brooklyn-based production team Party Supplies live up to their name once again, and bring Nineteen glossy tracks that glow like neon tits in the night outside a cheap strip bar. The tape could easily be the soundtrack to a Scarface remake; and is as overblown and enjoyable as Tony’s escapades; and plays like an alternate version where De Palma cut out all the plot and cut the ‘she’s on fire’ scene for all it’s smooth talking lines with the part when Tony loses his shit, gives that douchebag the thousand yard stare and slaps Gina for trickin’ in the toilet.
The clear New York sound lyrically and sonically bring heaps of unmistakeable identity. As do the cameos from his boy Big Body, a guy who refines shit talking as an art, and harks back to the era of Pain In Da Ass, Big Noyd and Raek and Ghost’s convo on sharks. Skits have been largely absent in a lot of newer rap, so the use of them sparingly on the tape adds to the classic East Coast feel. Some of the beats are so well known it and cheesy it was hard to picture rap over them until Bronson just did it; Pepe Lopez works well with his party loving persona and baller lines, and Contemporary Man packs in more Eighties pop classics than your Auntie’s attic, and still sounds cohesive. A song selection straight from Patrick Bateman’s personal favourites shouldn’t work this well on a rap tape, and definitely shouldn’t sound this cool, but Blue Chips 2 isn’t really about not trying new ways to make things as baller as possible. When Party Supplies are sampling Charlie Sheen ‘bangin 7 gram rocks‘ and pulling it off ridiculously well, you know they’re running their A game, and at this point Bronson can take any beat and spit shine it with glamorous street slang without breaking one bead of sweat.
The beats aren’t all as sleek and velvety; they balance things out with some street anthems with a 70’s shine, flipping disco samples to take them from the vibrant shimmer of the dancefloor to something straight out of the smokey back alleys behind the club. Silverado starts things off hard, Practice is so smooth it’s creamy, while Flip Ya matches the MC’s style perfectly; with Bronson sounding thoroughly at home amongst it’s seductive horn swells; “I snap the button on the driving gloves, pointy shoe like Aladdin on a flying rug.” It Concerns Me sounds like a car chase with the law through Queens, and makes me wana grow a moustache and roll over the hood of a Camaro in a brown leather trench coat. The piano loop’s so catchy I keep finding myself humming it staring into space and forgetting what the fuck I’m up to, and Bronson’s above and beyond with the lavish lines on this one; “I’m on the boat smokin’ gold dust, I’ll marry your niece, catch me out in Paris with fleece, shoot the back of your knees, Gary Sinise, speaking Arabic in Greece, grown men turning keys to cheese, as I water-ski Belize.”
This picture has nothing to do with Blue Chips 2 specifically, it’s just fucking amazing.
His pen game is extra terrestrial, and he’s still pre-major label debut so he’s only warming up; dropping lines like ‘Bought my b—- a present, hope i don’t spoil it, ‘what is it baby?’ ….face to face toilets’ just for fun. There’s not another rapper out who’s writing boasts that stick in your head as prolifically as Bronson; I keep finding myself reciting lines and laughing to myself like 2013 versions of ‘say the titties is out‘. He takes reference from everything; covering fictional ball players from 90’s teen soaps, exquisite seafood recipes, hitting trees and women in different time zones, and the Queens streets that birthed his style. Still the most gangsta line on the album for anyone that knows about cooking is ‘always season rice’; that’s the truth.
Their take on J Swift’s iconic instrumental for Fatlip’s crew on Through The Eyes Of A G is even more chilled and weeded out then the original. The oriental influence on The Don’s Cheek breaks up the unmistakeably American sound nicely, as do the beats on mellow bangers Rolling Thunder and Twin Peugots. Still the stand out song is 9.24.13. As with it’s counterpart on the prequel, the song’s mistakes make up it’s personality; and lines like ‘your chance is thin like the moustache of Puerto Ricans’ and the whole bit about the car are so hilariously entertaining it’s crazy.
For anyone looking for some respite from the more serious side of Hip Hop, Blue Chips 2 is the finest release this year. Bronson’s laid out an instruction manual on being a 21st century G, so the next time you need to stash weight inside games consoles (or dogs), select the finest buds or combine flavours to make succulent dishes he’s got you covered. He also covers some sexist shit in the way that the baller persona demands and comes across derogatory, even though I doubt he actually is in his day to day life. Hopefully that’ll take a back seat in the future and next time he’ll rap about asses, assholes, and shit 98% less; but right now it’s all forgiveable for the sheer enjoyment he brings to the game. The whole time I was listening to Blue Chips 2 I felt like all I could see was diamonds and palm trees, and even though I desperately wanted to rant on how they were meaningless exports of exploited countries I was just enjoying the luxury too much to care; when you hear a man having that much fun in his music, you can’t help but join in.
I feel like Bronson’s guna go down in the East Coast history books as a legend like Pun; not because he’s lyrically at that level yet or for the more obvious comparison; but because his larger-than-life persona, comfortability in his own skin and love for life and Hip Hop are unmatched right now. It’s been a while since the American rap scene has had big heart and big character to back up the bragging and boasting that comprises much of it’s content, it’s also been time since a rapper has emerged and been deemed talented by fans of real Hip Hop, not placed on a mantle because industry insiders said he had skill. Bronson has and will continue to outshine everyone in mainstream rap because he’s taken the words ‘do you’ and built a promising, exciting and endlessly entertaining career out of them, and this new mixtape reaffirms that.
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