Action Bronson – “Only for Dolphins” Review
Action Bronson is a man of many talents.
Bronson, born Ariyan Arslani in Flushing, New York, has carved out a 10-year career as a rapper while also running a popular cooking show called “F***, That's Delicious.” He even designs his own album covers.
His fifth studio album “Only for Dolphins” comes after last year’s “Lamb over Rice,” a collaborative EP with producer The Alchemist.
The album’s breezy 36-minute run time is filled from top to bottom with Bronson’s tall tales of drug usage, mafioso talk and fashion flexes. Bronson is fully aware of his outlandish persona, rapping, “20 Kawasakis looking like wild horses on stampede/I look like a character that was drawn by Stan Lee” on the fourth track “Golden Eye.”
Bronson pays homage to his hometown throughout the album, including a reference to the New York Mets as well as his cameo appearance in “The Irishman,” a film produced by fellow New Yorker Martin Scorsese.
While the album is light on features, it contains contributions from a wide range of producers. The most notable are Harry Fraud, Daringer and Alchemist, who add to the album’s classic New York flavor with stripped-back instrumentals that lean on samples and are almost devoid of modern rap’s snares and hi-hats.
It is also worth noting that most of the songs are bookended by movie quotes and dolphin sound effects that are sure to keep listeners entertained.
Like on his previous projects, Bronson once again displays his ability to flow over beats that many rappers would consider to be too unorthodox for their tastes. A prime example is the oddly titled “Mongolia,” in which Bronson, along with two of the album’s three guests Hologram and Meyhem Lauren, rap over a bouncy sample from an obscure Turkish artist.
Bronson doesn’t always succeed in bringing his concepts to fruition, which results in a few underwhelming songs on the record, but he deserves credit for his creativity.
“Only for Dolphins” sounds like it was freestyled from a beach chair on a hot summer day. Whatever it may lack lyrically, it makes up for by creating a welcoming atmosphere that provides for an easy listen.
Bronson’s latest effort is on par with his previous work and is another worthwhile contribution to New York’s underground hip-hop scene.
Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “C12H16N2,” “Latin Grammys,” “Shredder”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Songs: “Vega,” “Splash”
Adam Babetski is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.