Action Bronson – Saaab Stories [EP]

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Saaab Stories finds itself as another testament that more rappers should explore the EP medium.

That being said, it’s not perfect. I have no idea why there was so much focus on hooks this time around. Action Bronson tries to vaguely carry a tune for “The Time” and it singlehandedly brings a solid track down; the one on “The Rockers” features a needless namedrop that I’m guessing 90% of Action Bronson fans won’t understand; the one on “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” vaguely works because Harry Fraud tailors to beat well to fit it in; the one on “Alligator” (“I’m about to buy an alligator lion for my birthday”) is so preposterous I can look the other way. Anyway, I’ve never been convinced by Action Bronson as a rapper – his one-liners don’t mesh well with my sense of humour (sample lines: “I been a grown man ever since I had a baby dick” and “Ri-ri-ri-ri-ri-ri-ri-ri-ri- rip your dick off / Ahh uhhh! Motherfucker I’m a sicko”). That being said, when “Alligator” does a beat switch halfway through and Harry Fraud leaves him with something practically non-existent, he does impressively survive out there on his own. As for the guests, they all do what you’d expect them to. I once facetiously described Bronson to a friend as “Discount Ghostface with diabetes,” and if that were true, then Big Body Bes is an even more discounted version of that; lines like “My whole life is a fucking discography b / You stupid? Quadruple platinum / Oops, what’s that? Another one,” are little more than empty braggadocio, without a single hint of cleverness.

So why the positive score, then? Because Harry Fraud is – no competition – the best producer Action Bronson has ever worked with, and he hands in exactly seven out of seven good beats here (a surprising success rate when you consider his rather whatever of a compilation earlier this year). The bass on “72 Virgins,” “No Time” andespecially “Seven Series Triples” are all heavy as fuck. While previous Action Bronson producer Party Supplies would’ve just left the beat at that, Harry Fraud doesn’t, adding guitars to the opener that bring me back to “O’s & Pounds” (one of the choice cuts on Adrift) and a keyboard line on “Seven Series Triplets” to wisely substitute for the lack of a hook. Meanwhile, Harry Fraud’s selling point is his versatility that keeps Saaab Stories constantly interesting – “Triple Backflip” (with neat percussion flourishes that sound SpaceGhostPurrp-inspired) and “The Rockers” are cloud-rap inspired while “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” is a wonderful boom bap throwback.

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