While some grumbled at the idea of a 7-track EP from Action Bronson as opposed to a full-length project, I’ve always been a fan of quality over quantity, especially when it comes to artists with a great ear for quality sound. I’ve been a fan of Bronson ever since hearing “Jar of Drugs” back in 2011, which was also produced by Harry Fraud and to my knowledge was one of his first songs they collaborated on. The spaced-out Bronson/Fraud sound is definitely a contrast to earlier joints like “Get Off My PP” produced by Tommy Mas off of the Dr. Lecter album, which featured breakbeats and elegant jazz samples. Nevertheless, the chemistry between Bronson and Fraud is a weird science that comes together nicely on SAAAB Stories.
“72 Virgins” enlists the assistance of Bronson’s road dog Big Body Bes, who doesn’t really qualify as a hypeman for some reason and doesn’t rap, but still adds an irreplaceable energy to a track. On this one, he’s allowed to rant for half the track after a strangely heartfelt verse from Action kicks off the project. The dreamy “Triple Backflip” has a title that plays on Bronson’s tendency to rap about extraordinary physical feats and the production style is where Fraud lives most comfortably. “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” is the perfect song for the summertime drive and was the first single off of the EP.
I’m probably one of few who’s been over Wiz Khalifa since just after Kush & Orange Juice, but I felt like his input on “The Rockers” was trite and highly unnecessary. Though the song itself was quality, giving the feature to Wiz was like pearls to swine, considering the bars he put on it. On the other hand, the collaboration with Raekwon and Prodigy “Seven Series Triplets” is by contrast a work of art, as is “Alligator”, probably my favorite joint on the album, where Bronson flies solo on a signature Fraud beat.
There aren’t too many MCs that blend so well with so many different producers, but with Bronson, the intricate differences between the producers he usually works with are always a welcome addition to my Bronson-only playlists, from Tommy Mas to Party Supplies to Harry Fraud, of course. You can tell that Bronson has a hand in beat selection, as he never seems to go for the easy tasks and prefers a more layered, inspired sound. Though short, SAAAB Stories is free of filler and leaves the listener wanting more from the artist but also feeling like they have a piece to add to the already healthy collection of what’s already out there from the artist. Next up: Blue Chips II with Party Supplies.