Viper breaks down the highlights of the new Action Bronson album, ‘Only For Dolphins’…
When I heard Bam Bam was back with another album, I had no idea what to expect. The Queen’s rapper is one of the most charismatic artists I’ve heard in my lifetime, but recently I’ve felt like his priorities haven’t lay within music.
However, minutes into ‘Only For Dolphins’, Bronson hit me over the face with one of his sweaty Carhartt tees and thoroughly proved me wrong. This could be his best body of work to date, but in fear of it going under appreciated, here are 12 highlights to make sure you take a listen…
ONLY FOR DOLPHINS
From the album’s title, to the opening sounds of dolphin clicks, there is a strong theme of everyone’s favourite aquatic mammal running throughout ‘OFD’. In a press release, Bronson compared them to a “five tool baseball player,” due to their intelligence and versatility. His love for dolphins drives the project from start to finish.
THE JAZZ SAX BREAK AT THE END OF CAPOIRA
At around 2:05, on album opener ‘Capoira’, a scintillating Jazz sax solo dominates the track. The break lasts for around a minute, and it’s just one of many examples where Bronsolino deviates into the genre’s realms as a way to broaden the record’s sonics. Big ups to whoever contributed their pipes to this record.
AS HIGH AS A KITE
If you’ve watched Fuck That’s Delicious, Bronson’s Vice cooking show, you’ll know he smokes an outrageous amount of weed. There are so many reefer references on this record; “Look its Bronson smoking weed under the cherry tree” he raps on ‘Golden Eye’. Contrastingly, by ‘Hard Target’, we see Mr. Wonderful opening up about his drug addiction, reflecting, “The weed don’t even hit me like it used to, when I was youthful.”
The self-proclaimed “exotic olive oil taster” is as much a food fanatic as he is a rapper. Honestly, if you haven’t watched Fuck That’s Delicious yet, load up Channel 4 after reading this. The culinary references are relentless on this record, but our favourite comes on ‘Golden Eye’ as he spits, “Better maintain low tones when you’re talking to me, fuck around and get your seabass smothered.” I still don’t even know what he means by this, but it made me laugh.
WHEN HE SAYS “I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO TOUCH MY TOES BUT I WILL STILL FUCK THESE HOES”
The hook on ‘Latin Grammys’ is equally hilarious. As with a lot of Bronson’s work, the track’s tongue n cheek nature shines over the rhythmic, latin instrumentation. “I might not be able to touch my toes, but I will still fuck these hoes,” he bellows in that gritty tone we love him for. You might be able to question Bronco’s flexibility, but never question his game with the ladies.
THE CLASSIC REGGAE VIBES ON ‘GOLDEN EYE’ AND ‘CLIFF HANGER’
After ‘Latin Grammys’, Bronson takes us across the Caribbean Sea to Jamaica; ‘Golden Eye’, with its reggae vibes, is definitely a highlight. ‘Cliff Hanger’ follows in a similar vein. It also features one of the funniest bars on the album too: “I’m in the shower with my latin made, that ass is hot, you can crack an egg and cook it, she told me shake my dick, I shook it.” Bronsolino’s willingness to experiment with genre really pays off on ‘Only For Dolphins’.
THE NATURE THEMES THAT BIND THE LP TOGETHER
From chirping tropical birds, to the sounds of waves crashing against rocks – natural sounds are sampled to create a blissful ambience on the record.
WE ARE REMINDED THAT BAM BAM LOVES SHROOMS
‘Only For Dolphins’ could be Bronson’s most psychedelic album yet. Tracks like ‘Mongolia’, ‘Splash’ and ‘Marcus Aurelius’, in different ways, sound influenced by the 60’s psychedelia movement. As well as the music, Bronco’s lyrics address his love for shrooms. On cuts like Sergio, he rhymes: “I’m high and twisted, some would say divine and mystic, ‘cause I can eat a bag of mushrooms and still drive a stick shift.”
MAYHEM’S KILLER VERSE ON ‘MONGOLIA’
One of the biggest bromance’s in modern hiphop, Bronson and Mayhem continued their collaborative efforts on this album. Mayhem attacks the ‘Mongolia’ beat with his assertive delivery, spitting over the Asian inspired instrumental with ease.
An Egyptian delicacy, Bronson is a known Baklava lover. Not only does it contribute to his Instagram tag, the pastry has its presence throughout ‘OFD’, used repeatedly as an ad lib. All the talk of food on this record does eventually start to make you really hungry. I’d never heard of Baklava, before The Queen’s native started rapping about it, but it looks DANK.
WE GET A KILLER EDDIE MURPHY BAR
“SHE WASN’T EVEN LOOKIN’
SHE WAS LOCKED IN WATCHING VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN
EDDIT MURPHY WITH THE LONG HAR,
WELL I PREFER TRADING PLACES,
SHIT I MIGHT HAVE LANDED A ROLE IN THE NEW MATRIX”
With his role in Scorsese’s the Irishman, you wouldn’t discredit Action’s claim of landing a part in the new matrix. This whole verse, with its reference to film, is one of the album’s best, and it comes on ‘Cliff Hanger’.
BRONSON LOVES BEING IN THE BUFF
There are multiple times on this record where Bronson expresses his love for being in the raw. On ‘Hard Target’ he says “I’m butt naked playing ball bitch, hold that”, on ‘Marcus Aurelius’ he’s jumping out of planes in only a hoodie, and again on ‘Cliff Hanger’ he finds himself windmilling at the request of a Latin Maid.
Words by Liam Cattermole.